When a teen is ready for driver's ed, it can be difficult for parents to choose the best online option. For teens, learning online comes naturally. They can move through the course at their own pace, which may make parents feel insecure about what their teen is learning.
How to Choose an Online Driver's Ed Program
Parents should look through the curriculum to make sure it covers all the major stuff like rules of the road and safety. Interactive courses that include online quizzes, animation, videos, and games help teens retain information better, too. The best courses include sections that let online learners make virtual driving decisions.
Consider the company's history. Search for an online driver's ed program with a long history of success. For example, DriversEd.com started 20 years ago with home-based educational options for young drivers. Now, they offer stellar customer support 24/7. There's even a money-back guarantee.
How Parents Can Support Teens Through Online Driver's Ed and Beyond
Attending a driving school for teens provides only a small portion of the support young drivers need, however. Parents play an essential role in giving teens the knowledge, tools, and confidence they need to be safe and secure while behind the wheel.
Chris Riley, founder and owner of AutoWise.com, says that parents should be sure to reinforce the driving habits teens learn in driver's ed classes.
"The best online driving school is one that teaches basic principals and also covers current safety concerns," he said. "One of the most important things teens should learn in a driving school is the importance of staying off their phones when they are driving. It's hard for parents to know if that message gets through."
Providing teens with the tools they need to stay safe on the road is one way to reinforce the safety rules they learn in an online driving school. Riley also recommends purchasing a secure phone mount to make using GPS easier. He says it's important for parents to model habits like turning off phone alerts when they enter a vehicle.
Driver education should include parking lessons, but many drivers never get the hang of parallel parking. Practicing tougher driving tasks in the car with an experienced driver helps reduce the chances of fender-benders later on.
"Teens may not drive the newest vehicles, so parents could look at adding on safety features like an aftermarket backup camera to help new drivers be more aware of their surroundings. Something simple like that could prevent an accident. It also helps younger drivers feel confident when they park or have to ease their car out of a tight spot." said Riley.
Choosing the Best Driving School for Teens
The most important thing for parents to consider when choosing an online driving school for their teen is the curriculum and the reputation of the company. A parent's job doesn't stop there, however. Ongoing support during online learning time and while supervising a teen's driving is a crucial part of helping a teen become a mature driver who can successfully navigate many on-road scenarios.