Founded in 2003 and approved as a viable source for teen online driver’s ed in 11 states so far, Safe2Drive also has something that many other online driver’s education courses do not; the ability for you – the parent, guardian, etc. – to be the instructor.
While putting your teen through driving school for the first (and hopefully only) time is certainly a daunting thought for many parents out there, your ability to be the instructor will hopefully provide you a with decent peace of mind; after all, were it my teen, I would much rather be out on the road with them, making sure they’re following the rules and providing a bit of my own insight, then trust them with a stranger. Well…stranger may be too harsh a term, but you never know if the instructor might make them nervous or fidgety because the student isn’t as familiar with them, and their concentration needs to remain on the road one hundred percent, you know? Nervousness just makes it worse. Anyway – back to Safe2Drive.
Overview Of Safe2Drive
Now, not just anyone will be approved for Safe2Drive’s parent taught driver’s education (PTDE), so there are requirements set by your state that need to be met. First of all, in order to even opt in for this option, your teen has to be between the ages of 14 and 17, and they must complete the course before they turn 18. As long as you meet the state’s requirements and the requirements for the course, you’re good to go!
The course in its entirety – including the 32-hour online course for your teen as well as your entire behind the wheel instructor portion of the course (minus the PTDE packet, which will need to be ordered separately) – is priced at 85 dollars, and the payment is only due after the first six hours of instruction are completed. Past that, they don’t dabble in the annoying art of hidden fees, so it’s smooth sailing from there. All you need is a desk- or laptop computer and internet access (of course – how else do you think you take an online course?), and if you have any questions or concerns about the course or have any issues, they have a wonderful Texas-based customer support service that’s available always.
Registering for the course is easy – the only downside is that you have to wait for your instructor’s packet to arrive from DPS after you’ve ordered it before you are able to begin. Really, though, it’s not a huge price to pay for the convenience this course will provide, since it’s able to be taken at a pace the student is comfortable with, and you get to be their instructor and guide them through the driving portion. As with most online driving courses, Safe2Drive also wants to make sure your teen isn’t cheating and getting someone else to take the course for them; to do this, they have a simple voice verification system in place to verify you are who you say you are. They’ll require you to call and say a phrase a few times (and by ‘you’ I mean your teen, as they will be taking the course), and then throughout the course they will call you. When they do, your teen will just have to repeat the phrase, and they’re good to continue the course.
What The Safe2Drive Course Is Like
When it comes to taking the course itself, your teen should find it at least fairly entertaining and incredibly informative. They make good use of interactive videos, slideshows, games, and more to keep them interested in the course material (because driver’s ed is at the very least incredibly boring, even if you are excited for the end result, which is your driver’s license and your new driving privileges), and the material is broken up into sections to make it easier to take in and remember. Each section ends with a small exam, which you will need a passing score of 4/5 to pass, but don’t worry; if for some reason they score lower, they are able to go back and cover the material they weren’t so sure on before and take the quiz again. Once they pass, they will move on to the next section, all the way up to the final exam.
What The Safe2Drive Final Exam Is Like
Speaking of the final exam, this part is obviously the final part of the course and must be passed in order to obtain their certificate of completion and go get their license. This sounds daunting, but if they were paying attention and really taking the course seriously, it shouldn’t be too difficult at all. The final exam consists of 20 questions, all multiple-choice, and your teen will get three opportunities to take the exam to get a passing grade – which, for Safe2Drive, is at least 70%. If they fail three times, you, unfortunately, have to pay an extra 20 dollars to get a new PTDE packet and retake the course, so make sure they understand the importance of the course and all the contents within to avoid this outcome. If you do your part and they do theirs, however, they should be just fine.
Now, I understand that all of that is a lot to take in, so I’ve taken the liberty of using Safe2Drive’s step by step breakdown of how the course works to kind of simplify it for you, if you’re in a tl;dr mood:
- Step one: Register for the course.
- Step two: Request and obtain the Driver Education (PTDE) packet by filling out the online form (which will be provided once you’ve registered – all you have to do is follow the link, fill it out, and send it)
- Step three: The student begins and completes the first six (6) hours of the course free of charge.
- Step four: Someone (parent or teen is up to you) will be prompted to pay for the course.
- Step five: The student can choose if they want to take the Knowledge test online right then, or later at the DPS.
- Step six: A Six Hour Completion certificate will be issued to the student.
- Step seven: The student will continue the remaining 26 hours of the online course.
- Step eight: Once a learner’s license has been obtained, the student MUST complete seven hours of in-car observation and seven hours of behind-the-wheel instruction.
- Step nine: The student will complete additional 30 hours of behind-the-wheel practice sessions – 10 hours of which absolutely must be completed at night.