Driving School vs. Parent Teaching for Your Teen Driver


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Driving School vs. Parent Teaching | Swerve Driving School

If you have a teenager that is getting ready to learn to drive, you might be wondering what the better option is: teaching them how to drive by yourself, or enrolling them in a driving school?

A parent-led program seems like it will be easy to do, but that isn’t always the case. Learning to drive can be very tense for the teen behind the wheel and for the parent trying to get them to listen.

Here are the top five reasons a driving school is a better option for learning to drive.

1. The instructors have experience teaching

Not everyone is a gifted teacher, and some instruction is harder to impart than others. Driving instructors have been doing this for more than one child. They have worked with different personalities, abilities, and experience levels, and they know how to make complex techniques and procedures more understandable.

Professional instructors have been trained on how to teach others to drive and have a set curriculum, so they don’t have to guess if they are covering all the material or going in the right order. This means they can do the job efficiently and thoroughly.

2. Instructors have fresh eyes

Sometimes, parents have a harder time teaching their child a skill because there is too much comfort between them, and the child doesn’t always feel the need to listen. Many new teen drivers think they already know most of the material and might not bother listening before acting.

When new drivers are working with instructors, they are not in the same comfort zone and are less likely to just ignore prompts while driving or deadlines for completing work.

3. It will get done

Many parents have the best intentions to make time for extra activities, but when life starts getting busy, they are often just too tied up or tired. This can cause tension between a teen and their parent if they are both busy and there isn’t enough time dedicated to driving lessons and completing driving hours fast enough for the teen.

Don’t add something else to your plate when you can enroll them in a driving school. This way, it will get done and you can support while not carrying the bulk of the responsibility.

4. Structured experience

Enrolling in a driving school creates opportunities for the student to have an instructor-led classroom experience as well as the necessary time behind the wheel. This creates a solid balance while ensuring that every student receives the necessary information and experience to pass their tests. The structure of the curriculum also ensures that each student can master all the basics that are required before more complex maneuvers can be mastered.

5. You still get to be an ally

Rather than trying to teach your teen to drive alone, use a driving school as a resource to help them learn the basics. As a parent, you can still be very involved with the process. Take your teen out driving for their mandatory hours. Review subjects for the driving tests. Do pop quizzes every now and then to keep the facts fresh in their minds for the driving test.

When your child is ready to drive, the right teen drivers education course can set them on a path to safe and defensive driving the rest of their lives. In some places (such as Colorado and Ohio), students have the option to take the classroom portion online. In other states (where online courses aren’t certified) a professional classroom setting with structured behind-the-wheel lessons remain the preferred course of action over parents teaching their own children.

Driving schools ensure that your child’s education behind the wheel will be done in a timelier manner and, most importantly, your new driver will still get top-notch driving lessons.

Be the best cheerleader you can and support their progress. Remember, their independence is a great thing for both of you.

What to Expect on the Day of Your Driving Test


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What to Expect on the Day of Your Driving Test | Swerve Driving School

The day of your driving test is approaching. You have been logging in all those driving hours and studying hard. Before your driving test, you might want a better idea of what to expect. Once you know what to expect, it is easier to calm the nerves and enjoy the ride. Here is what you can expect the day of your driving test.

Testing Material

The driving test is to make sure each driver knows how to confidently operate a vehicle with a solid knowledge of the state’s laws. The examiner will be evaluating you based on these criteria. To accurately test a driver’s abilities, each test-taking driver is taken onto real roads and asked to drive in traffic. The examiner will also ask for specific parking scenarios to test the driver’s ability to know the criteria for different types of parking and their ability to accurately maneuver the vehicle.

With each different maneuver, the examiner will be observing how you handle the car. Some of the abilities and requirements for testing include:

  • Checking mirrors often
  • Using traffic signals appropriately
  • Checking blind spots when changing lanes
  • Obeying speed limits
  • Accelerating and braking smoothly
  • Leaving space between your car and others
  • Correctly passing through intersections

Other criteria the examiner may question students on is how to use the different controls in the car. Turning on headlights, activating the hazards, put on the parking brake, and how to turn on windshield wipers are not going to happen naturally in every test, so this information might be asked when you first get into the car or at a random time during the test.

Preparing for the Test

The most important thing you can do to prepare for a driving test is to review the driving laws. It is vital to know correct distances for parking when you can go through the different types of intersections (traffic signal, 2-way stop, 4-way stop, roundabouts, etc). This information is found in the state driver’s manual, but every teen driving education course will also provide materials to review and practice tests for the written portion. It is important you memorize this information since you will need to use that knowledge on the driving portion.

Another way to prepare is by driving a lot. Becoming comfortable in your abilities to move through traffic and operate a car is invaluable for a driving test. If you are rigid or overly stressed, the examiner will know it from your rough, jerky movements. When you are more relaxed, it is easier to focus on the road while also listening to the directions given by the examiner.

Here are some other tips for preparing and completing your driver’s test:

  • If you do not understand what the examiner is asking you to do, ask for more clarification.
  • Take a practice test before the big day with a friend, parent, or other licensed adult and listen to their constructive criticism.
  • Be patient. Feeling rushed during a test will lead to mistakes.

What to Take with You

The day of the test, you should remember to bring your instruction permit and log of hours if required. If you are using your own vehicle for the driving test, bring along the proof of insurance and the vehicle’s registration. If you have received a certificate of completion for your driver’s education, bring that along too. Call the DMV before the day of your test for any other information required, like paperwork you should complete beforehand.

Remember that driving is a privilege and should be taken seriously. Not everyone is ready at the same time to take a test. Complete your driving lessons and wait until you are comfortable and feel like it is the right time to take your driving test. Once you complete the requirements, you will be much better prepared for driving because of your preparation.