Want to learn to drive? There are over 200 million licensed drivers in the United States and almost 90% of workers commute via car. In many places, owning a car is a necessity for getting around. Though almost 60% of teens rely on their parents to learn how to drive first, it’s also a good idea to enroll in a drivers education course to learn to drive. Drivers education classes cover all the bases — from traffic lessons, practice driving, and the rules and regulations of the road. Given the scary statistics about teen rates of crashes and accidents, having as much knowledge and practice before hitting the road with your license is imperative. Drivers education classes will also emphasize the danger of texting while driving or otherwise driving while distracted or under the influence, which is a major issue today.
What are the Statistics For Accidents?
Sadly, the statistics for teens and accidents on the road are quite high. Taking drivers ed can often help reduce insurance rates, as insurance companies know how high-risk this age group is. Indeed, the fatality rate for drivers between the ages of 16 to 19 is four time greater than drivers between the ages of 25 and 69. In the first year of driving alone, teens are almost 10 times more likely to be in a crash than older drivers and only 65% of teens will consistently wear their seat belts, either as a driver or a passenger.
A shocking 20% of juniors in high school say that they were in a crash where they were the driver in the last year and a quarter of freshmen say they were in a crash as a passenger in their lifetimes. There are a number of factors that contribute to this — lack of experience on the road in certain situations, a tendency towards being more distracted by friends or technology, peer pressure to drink and then get on the road, and a feeling of invincibility. However, with the right training, it’s hoped that teens will have more experience when faced with a tough situation and make the right choices.
What Can Drivers Education Classes Offer?
If you want to learn to drive, a drivers ed course offers a more structured program to do so. You’ll be driving a certain number of hours every week and be sitting in a class for a certain amount of time every week as well, so the information flow is steady and consistent, not just when your parents have time.
A drivers ed program may also instruct you in defensive driving, in addition to learning traffic laws and other rules of the road. You’ll know how to share the road with not only other drivers, but also motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians — especially important if you’re in a more urban area with plenty of bicyclists and pedestrians. Drivers ed will also teach you how to handle emergencies or bad conditions due to traffic, weather, or other circumstances.
The ultimate goal with a drivers ed program is to adequately prepare you to take the written exam and road test administered by your state to gain your license.
Where Can I Enroll in Drivers Ed?
Your school may very well offer a drivers education program that you can sign up for once you’re age eligible to have a learner’s permit. You’ll learn with your classmates, which can often be a fun experience you can share with friends, under the watchful eye of your instructor. If your age doesn’t permit you to sign up for the right course at school, there are also professional driving schools that you can enroll in. You can also use an online driver’s ed provider, though you’ll still need your road hours to be eligible to get your license.
Even if you’re already a licensed driver and don’t need to learn to drive, a refresher course every few years can be useful and help keep you and your passengers safe.
The responsibility of driving should not be taken lightly. Every time you get on the road, you’re responsible for not only your life, but the lives of your passengers and those around you.