How many states have a required driver education program?

It is normal for parents to worry about their teen's safety when they are learning to drive. There are steps you can take to improve your teen's driving skills before they hit the road alone. One of the most important steps is completing a state-approved driver's education program.

Why have a driver education program?

Studies show teen drivers 16-19 years old are three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than drivers 20 years old and older. Getting the best instruction possible from licensed instructors can ensure your teen's safety. Currently, 32 states have driver's education requirements for teens. These programs help teach proper driving rules so they can be as safe as possible when they drive alone. 

To learn more, we spoke with the Department of Public Safety in Texas about driver's ed classes. 

“Texas wants to keep our teen drivers safe, and education and practice are key components in ensuring that teens are prepared to safely drive on Texas roadways,” said Sheri Gipson, Assistant Chief for Driver License at the Texas Department of Public Safety. “Currently, teen drivers — individuals under the age of 18 — are required to complete a driver education course led by either a parent, instructor or other designated driver.  

The above quote may pertain to Texas, but it is the same in almost every state; driver's education programs are a good idea no matter where you live.   

Benefits of Taking Driver's Ed Classes

If you live in a state without a rule for driver's ed classes, it is well worth the time involved for your teen to take them. There are many benefits that your teen will gain by taking these classes, including:

  • More confidence in their driving skills.

  • Reduced insurance rates with a completed driver's ed certificate.

  • Learning defensive driving skills so they are alert to other drivers on the road.

  • Learning traffic laws, road signs, and other important driving information.

  • Reduced fear of driving due to the added practice with a licensed instructor.

Understanding Driver's Ed Laws in Your State

Once you find out whether your teen needs to take a driver's ed program, look for the best driving school for teens in your area. Some states allow online driver's ed, but you will need to verify this before registering your teen for a course. Make sure the program you choose is state-approved.

What Will a Driver's Ed Course Do for My Teen?

Your teen will walk away from the driver's ed classes with more knowledge than they would have if they did not take the course. Even if your state doesn't ask for the program, it is wise to have them take it anyway. Going through this program will make your teen a better and safer driver.  

Repetition is a great way to recall information. Even if your teen has read the information before, the classes will help reinforce the driving rules.