Across the country, teen driving accidents are becoming more and more problematic. As a former driving instructor, I believe that there needs to be much more emphasis placed on behind-the-wheel driving lessons before a teen receives their provisional driver’s license. Although the state of California requires teens to have at least six hours of drive time with a certified instructor before obtaining their license, the results can often be hit or miss. As a parent, you should want to find the lessons with the best behind-the-wheel instructors San Diego has to offer.
Why San Diego Behind-The-Wheel Driving Lessons Are So Importaint
Teen driving accidents have been on the rise over the past few years. In fact, a recent report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association indicated that teen fatalities from automobile accidents rose by 10% from 2014 to 2015. Before 2015, that figure had been on the decline.
Two of the main factors contributing to teen auto accidents were cell phone usage and alcohol. Texting and driving has become a national epidemic. But the number of underage teens with alcohol in their system is as alarming. Approximately 40% of teens tested had no alcohol in their system at the time of the accident, meaning that 60% did.
In San Diego, a 26-year-old man was killed by a 16-year-old driver at the beginning of the year. The 16-year-old was driving a Porsche when he struck the pedestrian around midnight on Palm Avenue. The young driver fled the scene on foot and was later arrested for hit-and-run. At the time of this article, police had not yet determined what charges the driver would face. The police cited speeding as a contributing factor in the accident and were awaiting toxicology reports to determine if drugs or alcohol also played a role.
Last year, a 17-year-old driver, formerly of Torrey Pines High School, faced trial for a fatal DUI accident. The driver admitted that he had been intoxicated while driving, causing his car to spin out of control and kill one teenager while seriously injuring the other. According to a California Highway Patrol report, speed and alcohol were both contributing factors to the accident.
The driver was known as an exceptional student. He was also an all-league lacrosse player and had been considering his collegiate options. However, the night of the crash, he consumed at least eight beers at a party. The fatal accident occurred when he left to get food at approximately 1 a.m. The case caused even more controversy when the judge sentenced the driver to a minimum of ten months in a juvenile detention camp.
These issues go to show that there is a disconnect between teen drivers and the lessons they should be learning in driving school. Teens are either not comprehending, or choosing to disregard blatantly, the lessons their instructors taught them in driver’s education classes. As a result, they are not only endangering their own lives but the lives of others as well.
The GHSA report also indicated that young teens were not the only ones at risk of fatal car accidents either. Teens age 18-20 were twice as likely to be involved in a fatal car accident than teens age 15-17. This perhaps indicates that teenagers, after having gained a year or two of driving experience, begin to feel invincible and forget the lessons taught to them as rookie drivers.
Finding The Best Behind-The-Wheel Driving Instructor In San Diego
The investment you make in a San Diego driving school could one day end up saving your child’s life. There is no price tag that you could put on that. That’s why it’s important to take your time, research, and find the best behind-the-wheel driving instructors in San Diego. When talking with your peers and browsing through online reviews, there are a few things for which you should be on the lookout.
First and foremost, you want to ensure that your child’s instructor is highly qualified. The San Diego area has some well-trained driving instructors, but the city also has numerous instructors who are not as experienced. Your child’s instructor should hold all licenses and certifications required by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
If your teen’s driving instructor is not willing to provide this paperwork, take a look at the California DMV website. They have a database of certified driving instructors. You can search by name or by geographic area. Odds are, if an instructor is not willing to show you their certification, they will not be in the DMV system.
Secondly, you want to find an instructor who connects with your teen. Teens can have very different personalities. The best in-car driving instructors know how to communicate with all different types of students. A good driving instructor will tailor driving plans and lessons to each student’s learning capabilities.
This is because the best behind-the-wheel instructors understand that getting a license is much more than passing a test administered by the DMV. Instead, they know that that obtaining a driver’s license is about being able to take the information learned during supervised drive time and apply it to the real world. Practical applications of lessons and experiences are far more critical when demonstrating that a student has retained knowledge during their lessons. Ultimately, behind-the-wheel lessons are about keeping students safe on the road.
As a result, the best San Diego behind-the-wheel driving instructors will focus on comprehensive lesson plans that will leave your teen feeling confident and comfortable before hitting the road. Driving instructors can help your teen master key skills, including:
- Driving on the Highway
- Parallel Parking
- Changing Lanes
- Passing Cars
- Navigating Through Intersections and Traffic
- Driving at Night
- Scanning and Maneuvering While on the Road
Lastly, excellent driving instructors will be accommodating to your schedule. They understand that teens live hectic lives and that driving school is one of a dozen things they are trying to balance right now. Many driving schools allow you to book a driving session online and will pick you up and drop you off anywhere in the San Diego area.