Did you know that 62% of drivers took a driver’s education course before getting their license? Those aged 65 and older were the most likely not to take a course before receiving a license.
As we age, it is essential to continue driver’s ed, especially if a person never went to driving school at all. Any aged driver can benefit from a refresher course about the rules of the road.
Read on to learn five ways a driver’s ed class can help keep you safe when you are behind the wheel.
1. Practice Skills You Need Help With
New and seasoned motorists might have skills they need more practice on to stay safe on the road. With a behind-the-wheel drivers ed program, these skills can grow.
If you are intimidated by driving on the highway or driving at night, lessons at a driving school can help. A professional instructor can help you feel more comfortable in any condition.
The lessons are created to be appropriate for your specific skill level. Make sure you pick an education program that works with the Road Safety Educators Association.
2. Learn Appropriate Lane Usage
Even someone that has had their license for years may struggle with proper lane usage. Online driver’s ed and defensive driving schools come in handy if you need to know more about bike lane awareness and carpool lane confusion.
Did you know it is only legal to drive through a bike lane when you are making a turn? It is essential to know driver’s ed knowledge and skills that will keep you from making illegal moves on the road.
How many times have you driven in the left lane and had someone riding your tail? This is because left lanes are for faster traffic. If you want to drive slower, remain in the right lane.
This may not seem like a big deal to know, but when you use appropriate lane usage, you keep yourself and everyone around you safer on the road. You also avoid causing road rage in other drivers that could lead to an accident.
Drivers ed classes can teach you proper carpool lane etiquette to avoid lane confusion. Before entering the highway, you should look for and read carpool signs.
3. Understand the Fundamentals
Teens are always taught the fundamentals first before taking a driver’s ed practice test. However, driver’s ed fundamentals are not just for teens to know. Seasoned motorists may need a refresher on these basic rules every once in a while.
Learning these rules on the fly when your 16 is great, but remembering all of these rules is difficult. If you think you could use a refresher to ensure road safety, try a quick online driver’s ed course or check the DMV handbook.
4. Anticipate the Actions Around You
As we grow older, we get into the routine of driving and forget the rules of the road. With a defensive driving course, you will go through preventative measures to become a safer driver.
Some conditions will affect your vehicle differently. When you understand how to maneuver your vehicle no matter the condition, you’ll protect yourself and other drivers around you.
For example, if snow and ice are prominent in your area, you should know how your vehicle works in that condition. Without the proper knowledge, you cannot be as safe as you need to be.
Not only can you anticipate the conditions of the road, but you can also anticipate the moves of other drivers around you. This is why it is known as defensive driving because you learn to be a defensive driver.
With these courses, you’ll learn life-saving habits while you are on the road.
5. Teaches the Next Generation
Yes, driver’s ed courses teach the next generation how to drive and be safe on the road. Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for U.S. teens which is why some parents want to put the safety of their kids into their own hands.
Your kids will likely have to go through a driver’s ed course on their own, but they can be well prepared if you have been actively teaching them the rules of the road before they get in the driver’s seat.
To ensure you are providing the next generation of drivers with the correct information about road safety, take a refresher course for yourself.
Teaching your kids is more than explaining the safety rules of the road, you also must ingrain good habits in them. You can do this best by being a good example when they are in the car with you.
These are some of the easiest driving habits you can pass on to the next generation to make you and them better drivers on the road:
Staying Mindful of Surroundings
In your teens, you are taught to look ahead and check your mirrors frequently. As we get comfortable with driving, these habits tend to go away.
When you are on the road, your surroundings can change in an instant. Teach your kids to check mirrors multiple times during a car ride and look ahead as far as you can see.
This should be an easy concept for children to grasp as they are taught the same things when they learn to cross a street. While your kids are in the car with you, actively follow this safety tip to show them how important it is.
Always Wearing a Seatbelt
Seatbelts are made for a reason and you should always wear them, especially in front of your children. Create the habit of getting into the car and putting on your seatbelt before doing anything else.
A seatbelt will prevent you and your children from flying and hitting the windshield, being thrown from the vehicle, and moving around inside the car.
In 2019, the national use rate of seatbelts was at 90.7%. Understanding the importance of this safety device and how it can prevent fatal accidents is a lesson your kids should learn early on.
Remaining Calm in the Driver’s Seat
If you have road rage, chances are, your kids are going to act the same when they get in the driver’s seat. When you stay calm, you are teaching your children a great lesson.
Remaining calm while behind the wheel can help a driver think clearer and teach patience. Both are essential factors to driving safely on the road.
When you are upset at another driver, you are only focused on that instead of the road in general. Don’t let road rage be a distraction for you or your kids.
Why You Should Take a Defensive Driving Course
The biggest reason to take a defensive driving course is to get a refresher on the rules of the road. Keeping yourself and others safe while in a vehicle is a responsibility every driver has.
If that isn’t reason enough to take a course, there are other benefits. If you voluntarily take a driver’s ed course, your insurance provider may reward you with discounted premiums.
It only takes a few hours to complete a course and you can do it online. It’s worth the money you save and the potential risks you avoid on the road.
These courses can also dismiss citations or reduce points on your driving record. If you have a poor driving history, other elements of your life may be affected, such as receiving higher interest rates.
More Tips for Safely Sharing the Road
After you take a driver’s ed course, you’ll have a good idea of how to act on the road to promote safety. Along with taking in everything you learned, you should follow these basic tips as a daily driver:
Distracted driving can harm you, others on the road and even pedestrians. You are less likely to notice your surroundings if you are distracted on the road.
The most common type of distraction is using your phone while behind the wheel. However, changing the radio, talking to someone in the back seat, and eating can also be a distraction.
Watch Out for Pedestrians
In urban areas with parks and schools, be on the lookout for pedestrians. This should be no problem if you are already paying attention to your surroundings.
You should especially watch out for children because they don’t always follow rules. Even adults sometimes walk outside of crosswalks. Always be alert to avoid hitting a pedestrian or child walking into the street.
As a general rule, you should always give pedestrians the right of way. Pedestrians may not follow the rules and it becomes your responsibility.
Follow Traffic Signals and Signs
Always follow traffic signals and signs even if no one is around. This means stopping all the way at the stop sign. You never know who can shoot around the corner.
Don’t Drive Under the Influence
Driving under the influence, whether it’s alcohol or drugs, can make roads more dangerous. A drunk driver has slower cognitive functions and reaction times. It’s difficult to anticipate moves and stop in time to avoid an accident.
Enroll in a Driver’s Ed Program Now!
Safe drivers make a huge difference on the road. When we educate ourselves on the importance of road safety, we can collectively decrease the number of accidents that happen each year.
Whether you are considering a driver’s ed program for insurance reasons or to get a refresher on road rules, you can enroll in a class now. Sign up for an online defensive driving course today to get started.