We've all heard this old saying. We've seen it in action many times. But, in the realm of driver's education this is an especially true statement.
There are a lot of big companies out there who provide driver's education classes with low prices and speedy turn-arounds. Many of them are even serving 2nd and 3rd generation customers. But, what are you getting for the money you spend? What is your student getting for a driver's education? What does it take to lower prices to such cut-rate levels? What is lost or sacrificed in a fast turn-around? Surely your life and the life of your teen cannot be bought for a $50 coupon... can it?
Everyone wants a good deal and these companies know that you will follow the low price guarantee without looking at what you're getting. We realize the economy is bad but you have to consider what you are getting for the money you are spending?
What is it that allows a driving school to lower prices FAR below the average? How can they issue a coupon that takes the price under a reasonable amount? Think about it! In order to collect a tuition that low, there has to be either cheap underpaid staff or a massive quantity of students to make up the cost difference. SO... you are either being trained by substandard instructors or being processed through the system in an assembly line manner. Either way, they got your money and you're not getting the education you deserve. Don't be fooled by these low prices. Most schools are charging the students for gas and then charging you for your Certificate of Completion. Again, what did you pay for?
In order to maintain these cut rates and speedy turn-arounds, a school will have to push you or your teen through the course at a speed that expedites the classes to get your 24 hours of classroom. Many schools will hold long class sessions (3-4 hours) and force you to show up on certain days and times. The level of instruction is poor and what student is still learning after sitting in a classroom for that long? It's nearly impossible to keep the attention of a class of teens for 4 hours! Instead of high quality education and content, you receive "enough to get by". Quality takes second place to quantity.
Most schools offer the option of a 3 hour behind-the-wheel driving session. The purpose of this lesson is to expedite your teen's driving time and get them out of the student population. The student does not learn anything after the first 1 1/2-2 hours and the rest of the drive time is only serving to "meet the state requirements", not to educate the driver.
Many schools are "piggy-backing" 2, 3 and 4 drivers at a time in the cars. With this many teens in a car, how is your teen supposed to learn anything? The Graduated Licensing Law says there can be only 1 (one) non-family member in the car while the teen is driving. There is a reason for this and that is to limit distractions while the teen is driving. You are paying for your teen to learn to drive, not "joy-ride" around town with their friends and an "adult" you don't know.
3 HOURS!! Are we training over the road truckers or teen drivers? This is supposed to be an education in driving, not marathon endurance. We doubt there is anyone who you would like to spend 3 hours in a car with?
The Ohio Department of Public Safety mandates that student driver under 18 years old receive 24 hours of classroom training and 8 hours of behind-the-wheel training. All schools set their programs up to comply with that regulation. There is a required curriculum set up which dictates what how much of each subject matter must be taught. Unfortunately, there is little control over the manner in which it is taught.
In the classroom, the easy way out is to hand out textbooks and make the students read and do review questions. It takes little effort on the part of the instructor and meets the state requirements. After the first few classes, the answers are circled in the books (along with some spiffy graffiti) and the students no longer have to read to know the answers. Instead, they can send text messages or sleep behind the book.
During the behind-the-wheel sessions, you or your teen are supposed to meet the curriculum requirements of the state. Theoretically, they should be "seeing" the practical application of what they learned in the classroom. We have searched the curriculum thoroughly and have not found the "Drive-thru training" or "Parking at the restaraunt" sections. There are supposed to be no distractions in the car during this training, but the horror stories are limitless. Eating, drinking, smoking, music, cell phones, other students and even animals in the car during these lessons are common stories told by too many students to make them coincidental.
You are paying for 24 hours of classroom instruction and 8 hours of behind-the-wheel training for you or your teen. What are you expecting to get for your money? Do you hope for a more aware, safer and informed student driver or are you wanting to let your student slide and hope they can pass the test for their license?
You may be wondering why nobody does anything about these transgressions. Why doesn't someone stop these practices and make schools give you your money's worth? Simple! What teen student is going to "rat out" a school or instructor who has let them "get over on the system". What student is going to blow the whistle on a school that allows pizza parties, sleeping and text messaging during classes? What student is going to condemn spending "drives" at resturaunts after running errands for the instructor. None of them! They're having too much fun. Why make it stop?
The average teen is always looking for the path of least resistance. They know which schools will let them get away with these activities and they flock to them to have fun with their friends. Parents have no clue what is going on after they drop off their teens. The average parent will look at these schools as successful because all the kids want to go there. Most kids don't pay for their schooling, it's the parents who are spending their hard-earned money to get their kids a good driver's education so their kids can be safer drivers, but they really don't follow-up on the investment they have made. Almost none of them know if they are getting what they paid for.
SAFETY! The safety of you or your student and the safety of all the people that may be affected by the critical mistake you/he/she makes because nobody taught them different. The safety of knowing that your teen will understand the responsibilities they are undertaking when they enter the roads.
Again, I will mention that WAY too many teens are dying on our roadways. Is the difference between health and injury what was learned in driver's ed? We think that has a lot to do with it.
Some schools are really dropping the ball when it comes to teaching your teens how to drive. When you see a newspaper article about a teen involved in a traffic collision, find out what driving school that person went to. You, like us, will start to see a very disturbing pattern emerge. We are not risking libel or slander on this website, but we know where some of the latest traffic malcontents got their driver's education. We have also noticed that the collisions are very similar in why and how they happened. This has led us to believe that there is a fatal flaw in the teaching at some local schools. You look in to it and you decide. Don't take our word on it.
We offer the same 24 hours of classroom and 8 hours of behind-the-wheel training as the other schools. We have just decided to teach it in a manner where the students remember the information and enjoy learning it.
Our classroom instruction is taught by driving professionals. It is presented on a PowerPoint platform and is unique to the industry. There are no textbooks used. The videos are current and relevant to the subject and the instructor has a lot of first hand stories to bring the lessons to life. We do not allow texting, sleeping or excessive chit-chat. We offer handouts, activities and guest speakers. Learning happens in our classrooms whether the student is aware of it or not!
Our behind-the-wheel sessions are only taught in 2 hour blocks. We pick you up and drop you off at whatever point we have agreed upon. There is no food or drink in the car. No smoking, drive-thrus, errands or animals. There is only one student in the car at a time and your lesson will be completed before we pick up the next student.
We take great pride in what we do and work hard to do it better than anyone else. We believe that our work can make a difference in the safety of you, your teen and the roadway users they share the road with. Feel free to contact us and ask any questions you want. If driving schools have to go under your microscope, let ours be first.
The success of our programs will only be evident in the good, safe and aware driving of our students. Not the number of drivers we have trained or amount of money we have made.