Getting the Most out of Driver Education
When you sign up for one of our classes, you can be assured that you are getting the best instruction available for your teen. However, like most things in life, what a student gets out of Driver Ed is directly related to what he or she puts into it. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you get the most out of your experience with Allegany Driving School (ADS):
1. Get involved.
-Sit in on the first day of class. During the first day of class, you will not only meet your teen’s instructor, but will become introduced to Allegany Driving School’s curriculum and philosophy. Even if you can’t make the first class, the first 6 pages of your teen’s course packet are for Parent Orientation and are great to look over together with your teen.
-Ride along. Parents are more than welcome and encouraged to attend any and all of the three In-Car portions of the program. However, if you can only make one, we suggest coming along for the last session. Not only will this give you the chance to see all that we’ve been working on during our training sessions, but it will allow you to see what kind of decisions your teen is making behind the wheel.
Even if you can’t ride along or attend class, be sure to talk with the instructor at the end of each session and see how your teen is progressing. Communication between the parent and the instructor can be an effective tool in advancing your teen’s driving skills.
2. Train with your teen.
-Let your teen drive! Regular practice leads to consistent progress. To get the most out of Driver Ed, students need to be practicing with their parents between In-Car sessions. This practice allows each driving session with ADS to build upon the last and enables the training in successive sessions to become more in-depth.
-Ask questions. Good driving is not about gas, brake, and steer! Good driving is about making good decisions. That’s what we try to teach in our sessions. When you drive with your teen don’t be satisfied with merely “staying between the lines,” always be asking questions: “What do you see? What are the risks? What do we need to be ready for in this situation?”
-Vary your training routes. New drivers need to be exposed, under supervision, to all the different situations they will face when they get out on their own. Make sure your teen has plenty of exposure to more than just country roads by the time he or she is ready to apply for his/her license.
New Maryland drivers who are under age 25 are required to log a minimum of 60 hours of supervised practice driving (with at least 10 of those hours being at night). If you are new to driving with your teen, riding along during our In-Car sessions can be a big help to getting started.
3. You are in control.
-In Maryland, the age when a person can get a license on their own is 18. Until that point, drivers need the permission (written consent) of their parent or guardian. This means that at any time until your teen driver turns 18 you are in control of their driving privileges and can revoke their license with the MVA.
-Know the rules. Newly licensed teen drivers have many restrictions placed on them so that they are not overwhelmed on the road. These restrictions are specifically related to conditions that represent the highest risk factors for teen drivers:
Until the age of 18, cell phone use (including hands-free) is prohibited while driving (with the exception of 911 emergency calls).
For the first 5 months of being licensed, drivers under the age of 18 are not permitted to carry passengers under the age of 18 (such as friends, neighbors, etc.) when driving unsupervised. The MVA exception to this rule is direct family members (brothers and sisters).
New drivers under the age of 18 also have a curfew at which point it is not legal to drive (unsupervised): 12 am through 5 am. The MVA exception to this rule is travel related to volunteer or community service, work, or school (including school sponsored activities).
The driver and all passengers must wear a seat belt when the new driver is under the age of 18.
4. BE THE DRIVER YOU WANT YOUR TEEN TO BE.
-Believe it or not, they are paying attention. And research shows that teens typically drive just like their parents, so:
Obey traffic laws
Keep your cool in traffic
Drive the speed limit
Don’t use your cell phone while driving