How Well Do Driving Schools Prepare Teens for the Road?

Parents are naturally concerned when their kids inexplicably become teenagers
(weren’t they just in diapers?!) and start clamoring for a driver’s license. And since
most parents don’t have the constitution to withstand driving lessons without turning
their teens into nervous wrecks (kicking the floorboards on the passenger side like they
can slow the vehicle with a phantom brake pedal), the obvious alternative is to send
kids off to driving schools where all of the instructors appear to exist in a preternatural
state of calm. But you may be asking yourself, against your better judgment, whether or
not these schools adequately prepare your teen for the road (I say against your better
judgment because if you deem the driving school to be substandard, the alternative may
be that you have to teach your child to drive). So here’s the skinny on what most driving
schools will deliver when it comes to putting your teen behind the wheel.

In truth, it depends on the venue. If your child is able to take a driver’s education
course offered by his high school, he is likely to receive more comprehensive instruction
than the average driving school offers. This is because he will receive extensive lessons
in the classroom setting before heading out in a vehicle. These lessons will likely cover
information that will be on the written test (since most students must get a driving permit
before they are allowed to operate a vehicle), as well as some videos (does anyone else
remember the “crash” video? – my teacher threw a chair down the aisle and scared the
heck out of everyone). AAA also offers a fairly academic course that includes 30 hours
in the classroom and 6-10 hours of lessons on the road (although it is rather expensive,
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