The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified newly licensed teens as a high-risk group for vehicle crashes, mainly due to their inexperience and more significant risk-taking tendencies. Even if teenagers can memorize enough of the material to pass a written test and the behind-the-wheel exam, they may still be at high risk of causing a traffic accident or a fatal crash. 

How Driver’s Education Can Reduce Teen Driving Accidents

The solution is to enroll your teen in a driver’s education course that will underscore the relevance and significance of your state’s road rules, teach safe and defensive driving techniques, and allow students to apply their knowledge behind the wheel. 

The founder of a popular Drivers Ed app that helps teens learn how to drive safely and pass their DMV written test offers tips on what to look for in a driver’s ed course.

They Go Beyond Rote Memorization

While we all know the end goal of all driver’s education courses is to earn a permit and license, the emphasis should extend beyond learning enough to pass an exam.

Courses should cover all state road rules – not just the most likely to appear on the test. Teens will have a better chance of remembering road rules if they understand why those rules are in place and can see examples that illustrate why the rules are significant for safety in routine driving situations. We customized our Zutobi experience by providing permit practice tests for each state, incorporating facts and terms that are state-specific.

The best courses are comprehensive, teaching teens and new drivers everything they need to know to operate a vehicle safely. Road rules are the foundation, but these courses also cover defensive driving techniques and vehicle maintenance.

The Teach Safe Driving Practices

Remembering the meaning of specific road signs and knowing who has the right-of-way at a four-way stop are indeed essential for safe and lawful driving. But teens need more than facts in their arsenal. They must learn how to navigate the roads safely in all kinds of situations and environmental conditions.

Lessons covering how to drive safely in wet or icy conditions, the correct way to pass another vehicle, and how closely to follow the car ahead of you are invaluable once your teen gets behind the wheel. Driver’s education should focus on defensive driving strategies that help teens feel more confident that they’ll handle an emergency or unexpected circumstances on the road.

Expose Students to Real-World Driving Experiences

Who can forget those grisly films we watched in our own driver’s ed courses? They were, of course, included in the lesson plan to warn students of the deadly consequences of inattentive and reckless driving. As over-the-top as those films were, they resonated with students, even if some of them were way too gruesome.

Teens must understand that they are ultimately responsible for protecting themselves and those they share the road with. That’s why so many states require new drivers to accumulate multiple hours of behind-the-wheel training to practice the techniques they learned in the classroom. Once teens have the opportunity to interact with and respond to the behaviors of other drivers, they’ll have a better understanding of how quickly they must make critical decisions.

Choosing a Driving School for your Teen

While price and convenience may be factors to consider, use the following methods to find out if a course is reputable and comprehensive:

  • Check with your auto insurance company – Since insurance companies offer discounts to teen drivers who’ve completed a driver’s ed course, they’re on top of which programs turn out the best and safest drivers.
  • Find a course that includes a parent program – Parents play a pivotal role in their teen’s learning process because they are the chaperone for the bulk of their state’s mandatory behind-the-wheel hours. Look for a course that provides parents with essential coaching tips to improve these practice sessions. 
  • Study online reviews and ratings – Read reviews on Yelp, Google, and Trustpilot, and look for patterns. If one school has a lot of bad reviews, that’s a red flag. But if there are only a handful of negative reviews, see how the company responded. If they didn’t take the time to reply, that’s not a good sign.
  • Tour the classroom location or examine the online course– If the course is held in a classroom, ensure that the environment isn’t distracting and that the space isn’t too crowded. If you’re thinking about an online course, review the material to gauge its breadth and depth. 

How Driver’s Education Can Reduce Teen Driving Accidents

Even the best driver’s education course won’t be effective if your teen is not engaged in learning the material. Zutobi Driver’s Ed app helps teens learn the information they need to pass their driving tests by incorporating science-backed learning techniques that aid student retention. All our state practice tests use a question-looping algorithm that makes learning easier and concepts more memorable, such as this practice test for Tennessee. Plus, we make the learning experience fun by using a gamified approach that offers achievements and badges for reaching new levels. 

So, after researching driver’s ed classes in your area, be sure to include your teen in selecting the program. They must be invested in the learning experience to gain the most benefit from the course material. 


Tim Waldenback is the co-founder of Zutobi Drivers Ed, a gamified e-learning platform focused on online drivers education to help teens get their licenses. Tim founded Zutobi to make world-class driver's education fun, affordable and easily accessible for all.

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