Driver Education

Driver education is important to laying the foundation for your teen to become a safe driver. You, as a parent, may be an exceptional driver, but not the best teacher for your child. Professional instructors provide comprehensive training that addresses the common mistakes made by new drivers. Structured classroom and behind the wheel instruction are the first steps in preparing new drivers.

Driver Training

The extent of driver training offered through public high schools vary due to budget cuts and liability issues. Most high schools continue to provide a minimum of 30 hours of classroom training, but many schools no longer offer in-car training.

Training at a private driver training school may be a worthwhile investment. Parents have many options in choosing a school. The following tips may be helpful when seeking a driving school for your child:

  • Visit each potential driving school to observe instructors, vehicles and training material
  • Check on policies for refunds, make-up sessions and contracts
  • Seek a program which offers a balance of classroom and in-car instruction
  • Ensure the school is fully licensed and insured
  • Request a list of references

Click here for a list of Licensed Driving Schools in New Jersey. For more information on finding a driving school, including an evaluation checklist to use when visiting schools, click here.

Get involved

A driving school should help your new driver learn proper vehicle-control techniques, not just prepare your teen to pass the state's driving exam. If you feel that the driving school is not providing sufficient instruction to meet this goal, you should talk with the school owner. If corrective action is not taken, contact the Motor Vehicle Commission for help in resolving the issue. You may also file a report with the Better Business Bureau.

Parental involvement in driver education is crucial. The six hours of behind the wheel instruction a new driver receives falls short of the amount of time actually needed to learn to drive on today's roads and highways. Parents must form a partnership with the driver training instructor to build upon the foundation provided in a six-hour program. Practice driving remains an important part of learning to drive. It is recommended that parents practice with their child soon after professional trained lessons to reinforce what was taught and to be prepared for the next lesson.
A program developed by AAA incorporates parent training with driver education and offers tips and suggestions for parents.

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