Parent taught driver education has been in existence since the mid-nineties. At the time it was proposed, the intent was to allow all homeschooled students to take Drivers Ed since, in some cases, access to a driving school or high school driver education program was limited and parents that homeschooled wanted the ability to deliver the course independently. As the bill made its way through the legislature it was altered to allow any parent to teach their son or daughter how to drive. While this may appear good on the surface, the fact is that that there are many parents that neither have the time or inclination to deliver a thorough driver education course to their novice driver, hence depending on the teen to teach themselves online, leaving them substantially undertrained. While these parents may have good intentions, in our rushed society, it can easily become a low priority.
A statewide research study conducted by Texas A & M’s Transportation Institute in 2007 shows that “Driver records…in both before and after implementation of the GDL (Graduated Driver Licensing), indicate parent taught novice drivers committed more traffic offenses and were in more crashes than were commercial or public school trained drivers…..During the period when requirements for adult supervision are reduced (provisional license), and after supervisory and other GDL restrictions are removed (full licensure), parent taught drivers again experience proportionally more total traffic convictions and more, and more serious, crashes than drivers trained under commercial/public school programs.” (Pezoldt, Womack and Morris)
So what is a parent to do? Consider Car Teen as a way to maintain that all important area of the driver education classroom where the teen can be adequately prepared to drive.
Stay tuned for the 2nd and 3rd part of this series where I address the classroom more in-depth and also the driving portion of drivers ed.