Driver Education Classes

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Drivers education classes are aimed at producing safer drivers. They teach students not only how to keep themselves safe, but also how to keep their fellow road users safe. They teach students the rules of the road, the justification for each rule and the safest driving strategies in various situations like weather conditions or traffic density, for example.

Some government-certified driver education course is typically required before Canadian citizens or foreigners can obtain a valid drivers license.

The benefits of driver education classes:

  • Researchers have discovered that seriously under-confident drivers tend to be some of the poorest drivers on the road. Drivers education will improve your teenager's confidence, or even your own if you feel you need a refresher course. Since it will teach you what to do in various situations, it will give you the necessary confidence to deal competently with hazardous conditions.

  • Many car insurance companies lower insurance costs for drivers who have taken education classes. Check with your insurer whether there is a specific program they prefer and reward.

  • Simply reading a manual for drivers does not cement knowledge of the rules of the road as well as classes do. Since the classes spend more time on the rules as well as the reasons for them, students understand them better and remember them for much longer. Moreover, since classes, even the online variety, are usually interactive, the student has to engage with the material rather than passively read through it. This is why insurance companies tend to prefer proper classes, rather than an online system that allows students to race through written lectures in one hour.

  • Some schools combine classes with behind-the-wheel training, which gives the student the opportunity to apply the skills learned in class and commit them to memory,  this is especially useful when the parents are not particularly effective teachers or where the relationship between the parents and the teenagers is so poor that it does not allow for effective teaching.

  • Many schools allow parents to be involved in their teenagers' classes. Since most teens do most of their pre-license driving with their parents, coordination between the drivers education classes and the parents' knowledge of their driving abilities can help teens target the specific skills that they lack.

  • Since the lessons in a drivers education course are often visual, the extreme risks of speeding and driving while intoxicated, for example, can be brought across to teenagers who might otherwise remain unmoved by written descriptions.

Drivers education classes are, however, only as good as the schools that offer them, so it is better to stick to properly certified courses, even if they are not the cheapest ones you can find.