For most of us, our first introduction to driving came from our high school driver’s education courses – those weekly classes taught in stuffy classrooms where the dangers of the road were drilled into our minds. However, for many people, these programs are only the beginning – the first stepping stone towards becoming a licensed driver. In fact, there are many other drivers’ education programs available, including those that teach defensive driving, programs for repeat traffic offenders and many more.
But here’s a sobering thought – most of the drivers on the road in the United States today have been through a driver’s education program. And still, there are bad drivers on the road and car crashes every day. Does that mean that we need better driver’s education? Not really. In fact, the information contained in one driver’s education course is pretty much the same as the information contained in every other driver’s education course. So if the information is the same from course to course and it doesn’t stop accidents or bad drivers from happening, what good is driver’s education?
Three words – lower insurance premiums.That’s right; the majority of people who take adult driver’s education courses do so because it lowers their insurance premiums. There is the hope, of course, that the information contained in these programs will translate into more knowledgeable and safer drivers. And perhaps it will. But the real thing you need to remember is that safe driving requires more than knowledge – it requires experience and judgment, and those are two things that you just can’t rush. It does make sense to get the knowledge you need from a driver’s education program, but it isn’t a panacea for bad driving.
So how can you find a good drivers education program? Call your car insurance agency. Find out what kind of benefit they give for drivers who have completed specific driver’s education programs. If your insurance company doesn’t give a reduction for some reason, find another insurance company – one that actually cares about safety. You’ll probably find that the more young drivers you have on your policy, the greater the benefit from taking these courses.
In addition, ask them if they have a list of approved programs they recommend and find out what kind of documentation they require to show successful completion of the program. Then sign up, complete the program, turn in your documentation and watch your premiums inch down a bit. Obviously, you should choose a program that actually involves have an instructor in the car with you and not just one that consists of watching videos and reading, although that type of instruction has its place.