Where I live (Johnston County, North Carolina, United States of America), the age you can sign up for driver’s education is 14.5. You can get your permit at age 15 and your provisional license at 16. I believe you become eligible to get your full license a certain number of months after you get your provisional license. (If someone out there knows better, please feel free to correct me!) It seems to me that the sign-up age for driver’s ed should be 16 and the age to get your full license should be 18; to me, 15 is too young to be behind the wheel of a car even with a licensed driver, but that’s a rant for another day.
I really wanted to talk about what should be taught in driver’s ed:
Six and a half years ago, when I was in driver’s ed (I’m getting old!), the class consisted of sitting in a classroom and watching videos about safe driving. After we passed all our tests/quizzes for the classroom portion, we were eligible to begin the driving portion.
I think driver’s ed classes should attempt to focus more on these three items:
1. Defensive driving
2. Driving in adverse weather conditions
3. Vehicle maintenance and general care
4. Cell phone use while driving
The class did talk a little about the first two items, but I think there should have been even more emphasis on them. On the plus side, there was a lot of time spent on talking about the dangers of drunk drivers and warning against driving while under the influence.
There are a lot of small country back roads where I live – and they can be very dangerous to drive on during times of inclement weather. Many teens and young adults have died on these roads – I think revamped driver’s ed courses would be a good tool to eliminate death and injuries.
Ideally, parents should be the first to teach their children about driving and those four things I mentioned above. If you’re a parent, don’t be afraid to let your son/daughter take the wheel. Start with short trips, then build up gradually. The more experience your child gets in all kinds of driving conditions, the better and safer driver he/she will be.
Let me know what you think – and who taught you to drive? Parents, friends, relatives, driver’s ed courses, a private driving school? Thank you for reading and have a great day! 🙂