Learning to drive is one of the most significant milestones of a teen’s adolescence. But before they can even get behind the wheel of a car, it’s important to find the right driving instructor. After all, a student is only as good as his or her teacher. Here are seven tips for choosing the right driving school for your teen that will best prepare him or her to be a licensed driver.
- Make sure the school is accredited. Do online searches for schools in your area and check out their websites to learn about their participation in any associations, such as the American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association.
- Read reviews. One of the best ways to learn about a company is to read about the experiences others have had.
- Verify that the school’s license status is in good standing. The State of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission provides a list of registered driving schools. If you’re having trouble finding this information, just call the school directly. They should have no problem telling you of their accreditation outright (and if they don’t, that might be a sure sign that they’re not the right choice for you).
- Look for schools that encourage parental involvement. Most schools recognize that this is as big a step for parents as it is for their teens. They should require a meeting with parents for a curriculum overview as well as advice on how to support your young driver. According to AAA, instructors should provide parents with feedback after each driving lesson.
- Pay attention to the quality of the experience your teen will get. Aside from the basics of turn signals, breaking, and gears, teens should gain experience on various roadways and in multiple different situations. Learning to maneuver in traffic and drive in communities and on highways are all important skills that are critical for your teen to learn.
- Compare values. Ask about additional fees that might be incurred if your student were to miss a lesson. Take a look at the student-teacher ratio. AAA recommends 10 to 1 as the ideal ratio, with 24 to 1 as the maximum.
- Be sure that the cars they teach with are in good condition.
These tips should help you narrow down your options to find the perfect driving school for you teen as they get started on learning the rules of the road.