The statistics on teen crashes across the U.S. are not pretty, with 75% of teen crashes a result of critical errors such as:
- Inability to recognize hazards and respond accordingly
- Going too fast
- Being distracted
One reason is that newly licensed teenage drivers “exit the learner period with significant skill deficits,” says the same Teen Driver Source research referenced above.
With this as the backdrop, the importance of driver’s education, particularly for teenage drivers, cannot be overemphasized. But what do you do in driver's ed?
What they teach you in driver’s ed
Driver’s ed is not a prerequisite for young drivers just because. The reason the state mandates that all drivers be properly educated on the rules of the road is to make the roads safe for everyone - motorists and pedestrians alike.
Lessons students learn in driver’s ed include:
Traffic and driving laws
Ignorance may be bliss in certain scenarios, but definitely not when you are driving. Driver’s education teaches road rules such as:
- Road signs
- Consequences of driving under the influence (DUI)
- Illegal U-turns
- Speed limits and penalties for reckless driving
- Penalties for driving without a license or with a suspended license
- What a hit-and-run is and what a driver must do when involved in an accident
- Driving with or without insufficient insurance
- Seat belt and child restraint violations
- Illegal vehicle modifications and mechanical violations
Remember, ignorance of the law spares no one.
How to become a safe driver
Safe driver lessons discussed in driver’s ed include the following:
- Choosing the right vehicle
- Practical skills such as how to change a flat tire
- Keeping your hands off your mobile phone and the perils of driving and texting
- Minimizing distractions
- Following the designated speed limit
- Practicing defensive driving techniques such as being mindful of the traffic ahead, behind, and around you
Becoming a safe driver is beneficial for a handful of reasons:
- Keeps you (and your passengers) safe while on the road
- Allows you to build a good driving record, which helps you find better insurance rates in the future
- Prevents you from becoming yet another teen driving statistic
How to pass the road skills test to obtain a driving permit
Colorado driver’s education prepares students for the driver’s ed test, which teen drivers must pass to obtain a driving permit. The learner’s or driving permit allows you to hone your driving skills with the help of your parents or legal guardian, a professional driving instructor, or any licensed adult aged 21 or above.
The different types of driver’s education
State-approved driver’s education is not limited to just one learning channel. Colorado recognizes several of them.
This is the driver’s education type that happens in a classroom setting. In the case of Western Slope Driving Institute, instructors are former law enforcement professionals, members of the armed forces, and other emergency first responders.
Examples of learning scenarios you can look forward to:
- Videos and worksheets to help students better retain information
- Impairment goggles for DUI simulations
Online driver’s education courses are for students who cannot attend in-classroom training. The course can be completed at home or where there is an internet connection, at a pace most convenient to the learner. Animations, videos, and quizzes are part of the package to keep the learner engaged.
Parent-taught driver’s education
Parent-taught driver’s education is the training provided by your parents or legal guardian, as long as they are also licensed drivers and are willing to shoulder the blame if anything goes awry.
While recognized in Colorado as an alternative to the driver’s ed training provided by professional driving institutions, keep in mind that teenagers aged 15 to 15 ½ are required by law to complete the 30-hour DMV-approved driver’s ed course to qualify for a learner’s permit. Teens aged 15 ½ to 16, on the other hand, can complete either a driver’s ed course or a four-hour driver’s awareness program.
Road safety is a social responsibility. Driver’s ed is the perfect avenue to start molding young drivers into the responsible drivers we all need them to be.
Aside from in-classroom and online driver’s ed, Western Slope Driving Institute also offers various driving courses: driver’s awareness training, precision skills track, behind-the-wheel training, and custom courses. Call us today if you have questions on any of our courses.