A driver’s license may be a privilege instead of a right, but it’s a privilege which a majority of Americans over the age of 16 enjoy. After all, while those of us who live in a major metropolis can get away with using public transportation and other methods to get around, such as bicycles and motor scooters, for millions of Americans a car represents the best way to get around. As such, graduating from drivers ed and getting a license is as much a rite of passage as anything else.
Unfortunately, as rites of passage go, the classroom portion of drivers education is pretty dull. Most kids pick up the basics about the rules of the road from watching their parents and other adults drive around, and even if that’s not the case, traffic laws and road signs are designed to be easy to understand. Compared to the practical lessons that come afterwards, the classroom lessons don’t offer much in exchange for the 30 or so mandatory hours you have to put in before you can take the written test to get a driving permit.
Technology Can Help
Traffic schools started going online years ago, but now states are finally starting to realize just how effective online drivers ed courses can be. Although nothing can make the subject matter stop being boring, a good online course can at least make it more interesting than watching grass grow.
Online drivers ed courses can provide instructional aids like interactive information, point-of-view visuals, and videos produced within the current millennium. They can also provide resources for parents, something which not enough normal drivers ed courses do even though a teen’s parents and/or guardians will have a bigger impact on his or her driving skills than any professional instructor.
But Not Every Drivers Education Is Equal
There isn’t much money in drivers ed, so you probably don’t have more than a small handful of driving schools in your area. The internet, on the other hand, is a vast place, and depending on your state you may have more than a dozen online options.
However, while the subject matter of online drivers ed courses is carefully regulated, the quality of the course isn’t. The best courses have all the features I mentioned above and more, but the worst ones are little more than a textbook someone translated into a webpage.
So Ask An Expert
Fortunately, that’s where Drive-Safely.net comes into play. I have what many would call an unhealthy fixation on driving: not only did I spend years driving a semi from coast to coast, I’m also a certified driving instructor and I helped create the world’s most popular online training course for commercial driver’s licenses. Throughout all this time, I’ve also maintained a perfect driving record.
While I created Drive-Safely.net to evaluate online traffic schools first and foremost, I’ve also reviewed a number of online drivers ed courses, and my standards for them are much higher. After all, while most teens have likely picked up the basics about driving by the time they qualify to take the course, drivers ed is still their first structured exposure to all the rules and regulations of driving, unlike the refresher course that is traffic school. Drivers ed is also more expensive than a traffic school course, so you need to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
So despite how boring the material is (especially to someone who knows this stuff backwards and forwards), I’ve personally taken several online drivers ed courses in order to see for myself just how good or bad they really are. My research doesn’t stop with the courses, either: I also check their rating with the Better Business Bureau, find out what others are saying on Yelp, and check whether they have additional features like a free evaluation period, 24/7 customer support, and mobile compatibility.
Online drivers ed courses represent a better way of doing things. They can offer a better selection of videos and much more interaction than what you’ll find in a physical classroom, and so if your state allows your teen to go online, you should take advantage of the opportunity. However, not every online course takes full advantage of the medium, so check out my reviews and see which courses make the cut.