Distracted driving, defined as driving while doing other tasks like using mobile devices, is deadly even for experienced drivers. A report from the CDC shows that distracted driving claims nine lives and injures over 1,000 people daily.
This specific practice has been observed to be most prevalent among teenage drivers, particularly those belonging to the 16-19 age group. Almost 60% of teen crashes are due to a distracted driver.
Experts point to inexperience and immaturity as some of the reasons why the number of distracted driving cases is high in teenagers.
For parents, this information can be alarming. The good news is that authorities have put measures in place to discourage this bad driving habit.
Aside from implementing anti-distracted driving laws, most states have made it mandatory for teenagers who are applying for their license to take formal drivers education.
Types of Drivers Education Courses
A drivers ed course is different from the behind-the-wheel program. The former is all about the knowledge part of driving while the latter is the hands-on training. Most states require teens to take both types of classes.
There are two types of drivers education courses: traditional and online. The traditional type is basically in-person learning with a fixed class schedule. Meanwhile, a drivers ed online course is Internet-based with students choosing their study time.
Why Teens Choose Drivers Ed Online Courses
The online program is currently what many teens prefer. This is because taking this course is more convenient. They can choose where and when to study.
They can access the modules wherever they are for as long as they have Internet. Learning isn’t just confined in one place which is the case with the traditional method.
Furthermore, they can study any time they want – be it during their lunch break, before their next class or over the weekend. Since there is no fixed class schedule, students can also opt to study for 30 minutes or 2 hours depending on their free time.
How Long Does Drivers Ed Take Online?
In most states, students need to complete at least 30 hours of drivers education regardless of the mode of learning. So, there is no truth to the notion that online driving courses require more time.
An Internet-based drivers education program seems lengthier because students dictate the pace. They can complete the mandatory 30 hours in 2 weeks or three months (or more depending on the online driving school’s rules).
Simply put, the time it would take to finish a drivers ed online course would depend on how fast a student tackles a module.
Meanwhile, since there is a predetermined schedule in a traditional course, the required hours are completed in a month at the very least. A typical schedule for a classroom-based drivers ed program involves 6 hours of instruction every weekend. When a student misses even just an hour, he would need to retake the course. This is another reason why an online driving program is more appealing to teenagers.
After finishing a traditional or Internet-based drivers ed course, students receive a certificate of completion. The certification is submitted to the DMV along with other requirements.
A DMV-accredited drivers education program does not just teach students basic driving knowledge such as the parts of a car, driving laws and how to drive. It also imparts the importance of driving safely. This includes discussions on the dangers of distracted driving – what it is and impact of car collisions on the lives of those involved.
So far, studies have shown that drivers education is effective in making teens become responsible drivers. This is why parents are encouraged to enroll their children in this program even if doing so is not mandatory in their state.