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What are the Different Types of Driver Education Program?

By Alexis W.
Updated May 17, 2024
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A driver education program or driver’s ed for short, is an instructional program that assists new and aspiring drivers. A driver's ed program can help students to earn a learner’s permit, followed by a driver’s license. Courses focus on learning the rules of the road and driving safety.

Most American high schools provide a driver education program to students. These courses satisfy the common requirement that new drivers take a "5-hour" course before getting their learners permits (this varies by state). Taking a driver's ed course in high school can also reduce insurance rates.

A driver education program usually goes beyond the minimum "5-hour" course required in most states to get a learner's permit. The length of a driver's ed program varies by state. In California, for instance, most driver's ed programs are 30 hours, compared to 32 hours in Texas.

Due to advances in technology, some students and new drivers opt to take their driver education program online. These online courses are available for a fee in most states. The DMV or other state institution offers this online education to drivers.

Some websites that offer an online driver education program claim that online programs are superior to traditional classroom instruction since large classes can be distracting. A one-on-one online setting may provide an environment more conducive to learning. Online courses usually make use of videos, as well as interactive lessons, questions and answers.

Regardless of whether you take a driver education program online or in school, if you want the program to count as your required education before getting you permit, you need to make sure it is state certified. The institution offering the course should be able to provide that information. You can also check with your local DMV.

Drivers ed programs are not only for new drivers. A driver education program may also help to reduce insurance rates or lower your fines if you get a moving violation, also known as a "ticket," or if one is at fault in a traffic accident. These types of drivers education programs are considered to be a form of traffic school.

Traffic school may involve lessons on safe driving, defense driving, or driver improvement. In order to reduce fines when one is pulled over by the police, the traffic school must be state certified. Just as with driver's ed programs to get a license, one can check certification with the institution or DMV.

The driver's education programs offered for first time drivers, and those offered to reduce traffic fines can be useful tools. These programs can help learn road safety and avoid traffic accidents. Careful attention should be paid to the lessons provided in any driver education program.

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