Top Keys to Choosing a Driving School
Going to driving school means learning the essential skills needed to drive and handle a car on the road safely at all times. Most new and experienced drivers believe that if they are able to move a car from one place to another, they are fine drivers. Apparently, driving is not all about moving the car from point A to point B. It is about maneuvering the car safely in whatever road situations and conditions, everyday, at all times.
Several driving schools and agencies have now been offering courses that help improve driving skills. However, regardless of what type of course it is, driving lessons are and will always be geared towards teaching the basic and/or enhancing one's skills and knowledge of safe and defensive driving.
As defined by the standard Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations, ANSI/ASSE Z15.1, defensive driving is "driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others." Defensive driving is what it takes to get everyone on the road safely at all times.
Why go to a driving school? For starters, going to driving school is a ticket to learning how to drive the right way from the start. New drivers will learn about traffic rules and regulations, which is needed to pass a written driving test. They will also learn how to maneuver a car on the streets, and deal with traffic and parked cars, among other things. Also, when insurance rate could soar high on these new and inexperienced drivers, going to driving school can qualify them for at least some insurance discount claims. For the experienced drivers on the other hand, going to school could mean a way to dismiss traffic tickets or reinforce skills and knowledge and perhaps learn new traffics rules.
With so many schools now offering driving lessons both online and in a classroom setting, how can one determine which is legitimate and not, and how can one choose the best driving school? Below are a few factors to consider when choosing a good driving school:
1. School Accreditation, Background and Reputation
Accreditation means the school's standards have met the regulations set by the government. Accreditation is important because it determines the value of the license. Some insurance companies base the insurance rate on the legitimacy of the license.
It is also important to find out about the background of the school. Is the school affiliated with a professional association? Has there been a complaint filed against the school?
Ask for reference and recommendations from friends and families and even from professional associations.
2. Course Content
Ideal course content should include classroom instructions, driving simulation, and field instruction. A good driving school provides these, in addition to teaching the techniques on defensive driving, the basic and latest on traffic rules and regulations, and the basic on vehicle maintenance. A good school should also be able to provide courses on tracks so students will experience actual handling of a car safely under diverse conditions. And a good school should include a hands-on practice like allowing students to park on the street, and/or entering and exiting an interstate highway.
3. School Location
Location is also important in determining which driving school to go to. Potential students need to consider the maximum distance they are willing to travel for instruction. While online courses are widely available for more convenience, online courses do not offer hands-on practice. This is definitely something to think about when choosing a driving school.
4. Cost and the Value for Money
Finally, choosing a school that offers the cheapest lesson may not be the best method as cheaper schools will likely provide a low quality instruction. Aiming for a high quality school will provide the most value for the money. Some cheaper driving school may have classrooms that contain old teaching materials, less qualified instructors, or poorly maintained. A good driving school should be able to provide with modern classrooms, professional instructors and cars equipped with reliable passenger side brake or additional steering wheel.