AAA Offers Advice on Selecting a Quality Driving School for Teens
*AAA Offers Advice on Selecting a Quality Driving School for Teens*
*/With traffic crashes the leading cause of death for teens, making sure
new drivers have a foundation in basic driving skills is critical to
success behind the wheel/*
*WILKES-BARRE, PA, (Wednesday, May 16, 2012)*– With the summer months
ahead and many teens looking to complete their driver’s education
courses, AAA offers advice, resources and tips on selecting a quality
driving school to help provide a solid foundation of driving skills for
With new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
highlighting the steep fatality risks teen drivers face when they
transport young passengers, it’s critical that parents be fully engaged
in their teen’s process of learning to drive. AAA recommends the use of
a qualified, professional driving instructor, which is a requirement to
receive a license in some states.
“Quality driving instruction provides the foundation needed for safe
driving practices. Instructors ensure their students have the basic
skills, knowledge and habits needed for safety on the road but this does
not mean parents should not be intimately involved in the process.
Parent involvement is just as important as the school you select.” said
Kurt Gray, director, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Driver Training Programs. “Using
a third-party instructor also can eliminate some of the added stress and
emotion that can occur between parents and teens and allow a calmer
focus on learning to drive safely.”
However, not all driving schools are the same. To help parents identify
the best driving school for their teen, AAA offers the following checklist:
·*Ask Friends and Neighbors.*Seek recommendations and ask why they
selected a particular driving school.
·*Call and Visit Several Schools. *Ask to see classrooms and to observe
part of a course. Classrooms should be clean, orderly and set up to
conduct classroom sessions. Check that there is a desk for each student
in the class with a clear view of any visual displays.
·*Ensure Classroom and Behind-the-Wheel Sessions are Integrated. *An
ideal course integrates classroom and behind-the-wheel training.
Classroom time should consist of a structured lesson plan that includes
coverage of risk prevention and the fundamentals of defensive driving
practices. Behind-the-wheel sessions should correspond with the
classroom lesson plan to reinforce and demonstrate the practical usage
of the concepts. Beginners learn best with two in-car lessons each week.
Driving environments should include residential streets, city traffic,
rural roads, highways and limited-access freeways.
·*Check References and Complaints. *Check with the Better Business
Bureau for any complaints against the school. Ask for references of
previous students and parents that can be called about their experiences
with the school.
When searching for a driving school, parents can also consider
AAA-affiliated schools. Any school that displays the AAA logo has been
thoroughly reviewed and maintains a high level of standards.
Detailed tips about driving schools, as well as a driving school
evaluation checklist, are available for free in AAA’s /Choosing a
Driving School/ brochure, which is available to download online from
AAA’s Keys2Drive website.
Even with the use of a quality driving school, parental involvement is
essential for teens to learn safe driving habits. AAA offers a wide
variety of resources to guide parents through the process of their teens
learning how to drive through its teen driver safety website —
www.AAA.com/teendriving . The
interactive site provides parents and teens with specific information
based on where they live and where they are in the learning process—from
preparing to drive (pre-permit) through the learner’s permit and solo
driving. Some highlighted features of the website include:
·*The StartSmart Newsletter*helps families get through the crucial
period when teens are learning to drive. A series of electronic
newsletters and webisodes helps you identify the challenges you and your
teen will face and how to work as a team to reduce risk
·*Parent-Teen Driving Agreement -*AAA suggests signing an agreement to
help set realistic expectations and establish boundaries for teen drivers.