Driver's ed, driver's training, driver's education, or just driver's education is a formal course or program that prepares an individual to acquire a driver's license after completing the course. The course may be offered by an educational institution, a private school, a community college or by the Department of Motor Vehicles. A driver's education course can be divided into either classroom sessions or driver education videos. In classroom sessions, a driver is taught how to safely operate a vehicle, as well as how to avoid accidents and how to navigate through various situations on the road. These courses are usually held at specific times on specified days – generally on the first week of the third month of high school or at any other time which is reasonably convenient for the student. (There are also driver improvement classes for students who have not yet passed their driver's education course.)
The importance of learning how to drive safely are no doubt established in numerous studies and opinions on driver safety, as well as among those who have actually been behind the wheel. According to statistical data, safe driving practices generally reduce the number of vehicular deaths and injuries. This is because it makes drivers aware of the potential hazards (such as deer crossing the road in front of you) and it provides them with the necessary skills to avoid these hazards. It also enables them to observe the behavior of others around them, such as when a tractor-trailer makes an unexpected left turn in a tight spot. It provides drivers with the knowledge to safely operate their vehicles in traffic and at different speeds on the road.
Driver education programs, on the other hand, provide drivers with the information they need to be able to drive safely, but do not instruct them how to pass any type of driver safety test. In most states, driver training must be completed before a driver can apply for a driver's license, whether the applicant is an adult, a teen or someone who has been a student of driver's education. Some states require the driver to have more than one driver training session before being able to apply for a driver's license, while others only require that the learner have one. These courses may be offered by a community college, through a driver education program at a vocational/trade school, or even online through the likes of GED courses or TKAS (The Online Learning of Defensive Drivers).
Once you've gotten your driver training education, whether it was from an institution or from online classes or a truck driving course, you will need to take a driver's examination. The examination that you take will determine if you are licensed to drive, as well as the insurance rate you'll pay. To perform well on the driving examination, students must pay attention and learn the material given to them. Most studies show that more than half of driver training dropouts cite lack of study or difficulty in learning as the reason for their failure. Online driver education programs and truck driving schools have created study guides for the examination so that aspiring drivers can learn from the examination, rather than the instructor.
Although it is important that students learn everything they can about driving before they begin driver education courses, they don't have to worry about learning the entire course in one day. Some schools allow for a half day . . . . . . to get a feel for the course, an experimental schedule to familiarize students with the material, and a final evaluation for the day of driver training. Many times these half day or experimental driver education courses are available to students, and many times the course work can be finished in one sitting. Online driving schools are becoming more flexible with how their courses are administered, so it's up to the individual school to set up the hours in their classroom. If a school isn't going to offer a half day experimental schedule, prospective students may want to look elsewhere.
After learning everything they can about safe driving, new drivers can go on to learn about defensive driving. This requires drivers to react quickly to emergencies such as wrecks, emergencies, and on the roadways. Through this safety education portion of the driver program, drivers develop skills such as reading road signs, noticing road hazards, and following directions. This is essential to becoming a safe and dependable driver, and the required hours for defensive driving are calculated based on the average driver. Defensive drivers must pass a written evaluation in order to obtain their driving license, and drivers interested in this safety education should contact their state's Department of Motor Vehicles to find out if they need to complete the defensive driving course.