Although driver’s education courses are not mandatory in Arkansas, I highly recommend that you consider one for your teenager. Driving education involves learning the rules of the road and how to safety operate a vehicle. The benefits are numerous, and if you can afford the course, you will be providing a safety service to your child and the general public.
There are many courses offered through public and private school programs and in driving schools licensed by the Department of Finance and Administration.
Driver’s ed course material
In addition to in-car instruction sessions with a certified driving instructor, the driver’s ed course may cover alcohol safety and drug abuse awareness stressing Arkansas law and penalties, defensive driving, motorcycle awareness and organ and tissue donation.
Some driving schools also offer additional programs such as Auto Insurance Discount and Defensive Driving courses. Either of these courses may qualify the driving student for discounted automobile insurance rates.
Other courses offered may enable a previously licensed student to reduce points on their license and/or get their license back sooner after a suspension.
How to choose a quality driving school
While choosing a driving school for your child may depend on your budget, focus on those that stress your teen’s safety, not one that will enable your teen to just pass the driving test.
The Automobile Association of America (AAA) suggests the following when choosing a quality driving school.
- Ask around. Does your local high school offer driver’s ed? Ask friends and neighbors about the schools they’ve used for their kids.
- Call and visit several driving schools. Ask questions about their operation, ask for references, ask to sit in on a session, and check out the current cars and training materials they use.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau. They will have on record any complaints or problems a particular driving school may have had.
- Ensure that there is a reasonable student-teacher ratio in the classes.
- Is the school a member of professional association such as American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association and Driving School Association of the Americas?
Nothing is more precious than the safety and the life of your children. Do all that you can to provide them with superior driver education and behind-the-wheel training and experience. Statistics show that driver education reduces crashes by 4.3% and convictions by nearly 40%.
If you can’t afford a driver’s education school and are teaching your teen to drive, remember that children mimic their parents’ behaviors. Show them you are a courteous and patient driver, don’t speed, don’t drive under the influence, wear a seat belt and require all passengers, front and back, to do the same, and be sure to give your child plenty of time behind the wheel to gain experience and confidence.
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