Learning to drive is a significant, memorable and empowering moment in the life of every young American. As exciting as the process is for most young Drivers, it is also not always as simple as expected. Taking a Drivers Ed course helps simplify the process and get you legally behind the wheel faster.
Adult Drivers Education classes are also available. Can I take a Drivers class online from home? What are the benefits of parent taught Drivers Ed training? The best Drivers education courses teach operation skills and a firm knowledge of state and local traffic laws. Read ahead for an informative guide on Drivers education courses available today.
Types of Drivers Ed Courses
Drivers Ed classes are taught in various types of facilities and through numerous organizations. Perhaps the most commonly known types of Drivers Ed classes are those taught through high schools around the country. A high school Drivers Ed class teaches informational, operational, and legal aspects of operating a vehicle. Written class work and knowledge tests are assigned and administered. Operational training is also provided under supervision of a high school driving instructor.
State-certified Driver’s Education providers offer free and paid training services for teenage and adult drivers. A state-certified program is often run by a privately owned organization but approved by the state in which it operates. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in each U.S. state provides driver-testing facilities in various municipalities, towns, cities and counties.
These facilities are where you take your actual written and road skills tests and get your license approved or rejected based on your performance. DMVs do provide handbooks for training and study purposes, however. Online Drivers Education classes are also facilitated by a large variety of private and government-based providers around the U.S. in 2021.
What Do You Learn in Drivers Ed?
What do you learn in Drivers Ed? The types of topics available in any Drivers Ed course are similar in concept albeit with variations based on applicable state traffic laws. Topics are easily separated into three main categories. Primary categories include informational, operational and legal areas of study. Informational topics include the history of the automobile, expectations of you as a driver and knowledge of various car parts and systems. Understanding the differences between rural, urban and highway driving are also informational topics.
Operational topics include knowledge of how to drive your vehicle, along with the actual use of it in supervised on-road training sessions. Operational portions of Drivers Ed classes often involve a high school or privately hired professional driving instructor. Parent taught Drivers Ed training also qualifies as operational training. One benefit of training received from your parents is the ability to get first-hand knowledge from a source you know and trust to give you real-world driving tips.
Operational topics include the safe and accurate execution of three-point turns, parallel parking, backing up and braking smoothly. Parking lot driving, approaching/passing through intersections and handling your vehicle in adverse weather conditions are also part of operation training.
Legal-based drivers class topics include knowledge of local, state and federal traffic laws. Understanding how to read (and obey) speed limit signs and yield the right-of-way are also legal-based topics. Additional areas of legal-based study include:
- Proper use of all lighting systems.
- Driving while impaired.
- Laws for construction zones & tunnels.
- Stopping for school buses.
- How to legally pull over for passing ambulances, police & other active emergency vehicles.
- Laws about handling accidents (for example, not leaving the scene, etc.).
- Merging, passing & stopping laws.
- Motorcycles, large trucks, bicycles & pedestrian laws.
Benefits of Online Drivers Ed
Taking a Drivers Ed online course has many benefits. These types of Drivers Education course programs offer combinations of convenience and training from your own home. Some online classes are free, while others charge a fee. Be certain any course you take online is state-certified to ensure accurate information and adequate training are provided.
Drivers Ed online programs are available for teenagers, adults and mature/senior drivers. Taking a class at your own pace is a popular benefit with online learning environments. Mature and senior driving classes are offered online through the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Adult Drivers education is also available online.
This type of Drivers Ed online course is perfect for refreshing your knowledge of traffic laws, car parts and roadway requirements. In many instances you receive a discount on your auto insurance for taking these courses if you are over the age of 55. U.S. residents charged with a DUI/DWI might be required to take online driver correction and retraining courses as well. Taking a course can help keep points off your driving record.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many people and organizations to acclimate to online training environments. Another benefit of taking Drivers Ed online is the safety it provides by allowing you to study in your home and/or COVID bubble. Online classes also save time and money by eliminating commutes, gas expenses and fast food purchases while traveling.
How to Enroll in a Driver’s Education Course
Enrolling in a Driver’s Education course involves similar steps for every provider, with distinct differences based on the state where you live. Your age and the type of class in which you are enrolling also affect the enrollment process. For example, enrolling in a driver safety class for seniors requires several different pieces of information than enrolling in a Drivers Ed course as a first-time driver or a retraining program after a DUI charge.
All Drivers Education classes require basic information such as your age, address, proof of residence and your citizen/residence status. Government-facilitated Driver Ed programs likely also require your Social Security Number (SSN).
Your enrollment application will ask you to specify the type of course you are taking and answer additional questions about your driving experience. If the Drivers Ed course requires payment, part of your enrollment will involve completing the purchase before training begins.