What is Driver's Education?

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  • Written By: Paulla Estes
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2019
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Driver's education is class or series of classes offered to people who wish to obtain a driver's license. Driver's education teaches prospective drivers the rules of the road, shows them how to drive a car, and ultimately gives them the opportunity to take a driving test. If the driving test is passed, they will earn the privilege of owning a driver's license. Driver's education does not discriminate; anyone can take driver's education, old or young, as long as they are old enough to obtain a driver's license and they don't have any physical disabilities which would hinder them from safely driving a car.

Driver's education varies from state to state, but usually begins in a classroom where students are taught the basics of driving. They learn how most automobiles operate and they are given a thorough explanation of all the laws and expectations of drivers. Driver's education also discusses the consequences imposed upon drivers who do not comply with the law, from fines to court appearances, loss of license and even jail time. The dangers of driving are also discussed in detail in driver's education, with explanations about minor accidents, falling asleep at the wheel, and tragic accidents that result in death.


Once prospective drivers in driver's education have become acquainted with the overall idea of driving, they are introduced to an actual automobile. First they are shown how everything works, from the steering wheel to the gas pedal, the brakes, the headlights, and all the other necessary parts of the car. Students begin by sitting behind the wheel and becoming familiar with being in the driver's seat. They flip the turn signal lights, practice pushing on the pedals, and get in the habit of always wearing a seat belt.

After the initial familiarization, students begin driving with a driver's education instructor sitting in the front passenger seat. The student practices driving around town with the instructor looking on and giving advice. Normally, a driver's education practice car has two sets of brakes -- one for the instructor -- and often two sets of steering wheels, one of which the instructor can use in an emergency to over-ride the student's wheel.

After several hours logged behind the wheel with a driver's education instructor, students are given a written examination to test what they have learned in the class. Upon passing the test, the students are expected to log a set number of hours behind the wheel with another licensed driver over the age of 25. When the required hours have been met, students may then sign up to take a driving test with an official of the Department of Motor Vehicles in the town where they live. If the driving test is passed, the prospective driver is issued a driver's license. If the test is not passed, the student is given a fixed number of chances to come back and try the test again.

Driver's education can also be taken by drivers who want to brush up on their knowledge of the laws of the road, as well as those who may have made mistakes or received citations, and need to have a better foundation in driving.



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