Last month at DriversEd.com, we broke the exciting news about the release of our new online Ohio drivers education course. But since then, there’s been a bit of confusion and misguided doubt about what exactly that means for students and Ohio driving schools.
Simply put, we created an online course to expand access to drivers education in Ohio. This means more teens in Ohio taking drivers education and becoming safer, licensed drivers.
Want to know more? Here’s a rundown of the situation.
Q: What’s the difference between drivers education and in-car training?
A: Drivers education is a course that teaches you the rules of the road, vehicle safety, and everything else you need to know to pass your written permit test and be ready to start your in-car training.
In-car training is the behind-the-wheel driving lessons you take with a licensed driving instructor.
Anyone under 18 who wants to earn an Ohio drivers license has to complete the following requirements:
- 24 hours of drivers education
- 8 hours of in-car training with a driving professional instructor
- 50 hours of supervised driving (10 of those hours must be at night) with a parent or guardian
Traditionally, drivers education and in-car training were all done at a single school: a high school or a private driving school. But recent changes have expanded options for Ohio teens, making drivers education much more accessible.
Q: What are my options for drivers education?
A: Ohio lawmakers passed a bill last year that allows teens to complete their drivers education entirely online. So now you can choose to meet your drivers education requirement by taking a traditional classroom course or a new online Ohio drivers education course!
DriversEd.com is one of the three schools currently offering an online drivers education course approved by the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
With online Ohio drivers education, now you can move to the driving school of your choice for your required in-car driving lessons.
Q: If I take Ohio drivers education online, how do I take in-car lessons?
A: It’s simple: you can pick any local driving school for your in-car driving lessons!
Q: Can online drivers education really be as effective as a classroom course?
DriversEd.com’s online courses have even been proven to reduce DUIs and traffic violations in a 2011 study conducted by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Drivers education is strictly regulated in Ohio, and our course passed an extensive review process by the Ohio Department of Public Safety before it was approved. The content of our online Ohio drivers education course meets all the same requirements as classroom courses.
Q: What impact will online Ohio drivers education have on teen drivers?
A: Drivers education is required for anyone under 18 who wants to earn an Ohio drivers license.
In the past, teens who had trouble fitting a traditional classroom course into their busy schedules would just wait until they turned 18 to earn their license. That meant skipping drivers education and in-car training altogether.
With the flexible online option, teens with hectic schedules can take drivers education at their own pace on their own time. That means more students getting access to drivers education and training, and more prepared drivers hitting the road.
Q: How does online drivers education affect local driving schools? Will it really take away jobs?
A: Absolutely not. DriversEd.com doesn’t compete with local Ohio driving schools. In fact, we complement them.
Teens under 18 who complete our online Ohio drivers education course are still required to complete in-car training. All our students who are under 18 will also be taking in-car training at a local Ohio driving school.
Providing a flexible online option actually encourages more teens to take drivers education. That means more teens will be signing up for in-car lessons, creating more business and more jobs for local Ohio driving schools.
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Ohioans between 18 and 20 years old who don’t drive yet may soon be required to complete drivers education before earning a drivers license. A teen driving bill in the Ohio State House was amended earlier this week to include the provision that would require Ohio drivers education for anyone under 21.
If it passes, the bill would affect thousands of young drivers, who are the most at risk for car crashes. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that young drivers represent a disproportionately high amount of traffic deaths in the United States. Drivers under 20 make up only 6% of all licensed drivers but are involved in 19% of all fatalities in the country.
According to Ohio Department of Public Safety, drivers 16-17 years old are at fault in 71% of crashes in Ohio. Drivers 18-20 years old are at fault in 66.7% of crashes.
Currently, Ohio drivers education is required only for teen drivers under 18. Drivers education courses play a crucial role in educating young drivers about traffic laws and safe driving techniques.
If the teen driving bill passes, it would make Ohio similar to other states where drivers education is required for drivers over 18. In Texas, adults 18-24 are required to complete a 6-hour adult drivers ed course. In Florida, all first-time drivers are required to complete a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) course.
The bill would also tighten restrictions on new and probationary drivers. Drivers who have had their license for less than one year would not be allow to drive with passengers under 21 who are not family members. (Currently one nonfamily member of any age is allowed to ride with new drivers.) The curfew for probationary drivers would change from midnight to 10 a.m.
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Great news for teens in Ohio: You can now take drivers education 100% online! We are excited to announce the release of our state-approved Ohio drivers ed online course. It’s the best and most convenient way to start earning your license!
In the past, classroom courses were the only way to complete drivers education in Ohio. But now, you have a better option: take our fun and effective online course! Sign up for Ohio drivers ed online and get started today.
- Official DPS-approved Ohio drivers ed online
- Convenient 24/7 online course access
- Study on your mobile, tablet, or desktop
- 50 free Ohio BMV practice permit tests included
- Certificate of Enrollment and Certificate of Completion mailed for free
Easy Online Access
Our flexible online course puts you in charge of the learning process. With 24/7 online access, you get to learn on your own schedule, not someone else’s. Just log in on any Internet-connected mobile, tablet, or desktop device!
And, unlike with classroom courses, you don’t have to worry about missing any critical information. You can always return to our course to review the material as much as you want.
Fun, Interactive Lessons
Our interactive course is the best way to learn the rules of the road and prepare for your BMV written permit test! We’ve designed this course especially for new teen drivers. Our lessons are fun and easy to understand, with tons of quizzes, movies, and 3-D animated case studies to help you remember the material.
The course also includes 50 free Ohio BMV practice permit tests, so you’ll be more than ready for the written permit test!
Ohio DPS Approved
DriversEd.com is licensed by the Ohio Department of Public Safety (DPS). With our online course, you’ll meet the DPS drivers ed requirement and get ready for the driver’s seat.
Once you complete the first two hours of the Ohio drivers ed online course, you’ll get your Certificate of Enrollment. You can take this certificate to any driving school to start taking your in-car driving lessons! At the end of the online course you’ll also get an official BMV-accepted Certificate of Completion.
Online drivers education may be brand-new to Ohio, but we’ve been perfecting our online courses for drivers since 1997. Studies show that online courses are just as effective as classroom courses. Our high-quality online courses are even proven to reduce DUIs and violations. Our curriculum covers the same information as classroom courses, but we do it in a fun, exciting way that helps you understand and remember the information!
Learn with the Best
DriversEd.com has been teaching teens to drive safely for over 25 years. Our drivers ed courses are approved in 14 other states, and we are the only driving school in the country that is both approved by the Road Safety Educators’ Association and accredited by the Driving School Association of the Americas.
We’ve helped over 6 million students become safe, confident drivers. Learn how to drive with the best: sign up for Ohio drivers ed online!
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NHTSA Releases RoboCop Drunk Driving PSA
Bet you didn’t know that RoboCop has a fifth directive now: to stop drunk drivers. Police are cracking down on drunk driving until the end of the holiday season. And RoboCop is helping the National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration (NTHSA) get the message out: Drive sober or get pulled over.
Collisions caused by drunk driving increase during this time of year, making it one of the most dangerous periods to be on the road. Last year, over 830 people died from drunk driving collisions during the holidays. Young, inexperienced drivers who have just earned their license are particularly at risk of dying in alcohol-related collisions.
Make Plans to Prevent Drunk Driving
Do your part to protect the innocent and uphold the law. If you’re going out for New Year’s Eve, make your plans in advance. Pick a designated driver, reserve a cab, or arrange to stay over. If you see your friends about to make a terrible decision, talk them out of it.
- Pick a designated driver in advance.
- Take a cab or public transportation.
- Find a safe ride program and keep their number in your phone.
- Don’t let your friends drive drunk.
- Report drunk drivers.
Getting a Safe Ride Home
If you do get stuck in a jam without a sober ride home, many AAA clubs around the country are providing rides to both members and non-members on New Year’s Eve as part of a Holiday Safe Ride Program.
You might have seen Facebook posts about AAA’s “Tipsy Tow”, but it’s not actually a nationwide service, so check to see if the program is available in your area. But even if AAA doesn’t serve your area, you can probably still find a safe ride program near you.
Drive safe and sober, and have a happy new year!
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Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about people taking the art of smartphone self-portraiture to completely new and awkward places. Selfies at funerals, the 9/11 Memorial, or Auschwitz? Yikes. Apparently, no setting is too private or sacred to serve as the background for a cheesy self portrait. And now people are even taking driving selfies and sharing them on Instagram and Twitter.
It may not be in the best taste to ham for the camera when you’re standing in front of a casket or the site of a devastating loss of human lives. But posing for a selfie when you’re operating a 2000-pound steel vehicle isn’t just potentially tasteless—it’s dangerous.
AAA Mid-Atlantic published a news release last month to warn of the dangers of taking pictures or making videos while driving. John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs, said:
The number one activity that should be occurring while you are behind the wheel is driving. Hundreds of thousands of people are injured each year as a result of distracted driving and these injuries and deaths are entirely preventable. Put the camera down and wait until you arrive at a safe destination. Don’t let that driving selfie or video be the last photo you ever take.
It can feel like no big deal to whip out the camera for just a second, but it actually is a big deal. And it’s not worth it. Let’s take a look at the numbers to see just how dangerous driving selfies or taking any photos while driving can be. If you take a 2-second photo while driving at 60 mph, your car will travel almost 2 times the length of a basketball course while your attention is off the road. In the time it takes you to shoot just a 6-second video, your car would travel 1.5 times the length of a football field.
So, if you happen to catch a glimpse of your reflection while you’re driving and decide you want to document your perfect hair day to share with the world, wait until you’ve arrived at your destination. Until then, it’s best to toss your phone in the backseat and just focus on the drive.
And if you’ve just finished your driving lessons and passed your driving test, it’s understandable that you’d want to show off to your friends with a celebratory driving selfie. But instead of risking your new drivers license and your safety by pulling out your phone while you’re on the road, just snap a photo while you’re still parked in the driveway with the engine off.
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Don’t let a mistake behind the wheel ruin your holiday. Follow these important tips for safe Thanksgiving driving.
Check Road Conditions
There’s some nasty weather brewing on the East Coast! Before you leave, check traffic and weather conditions so you can prepare for wind, rain, snow, sleet, or whatever you might encounter on your way.
Check the Distractions
Don’t forget to put the devices away. If you’re using your smartphone for directions, then set it up before you start the engine, or ask a passenger to use their phone and take over the navigating duties.
If you’re traveling with kids, make sure they’re all properly strapped in and occupied before you start your trip so you won’t get distracted by any backseat emergencies.
No Drunk Driving
Make sure your group decides on a designated driver. If you’re the only driver and you intend to have a few drinks, make sure to stop early enough so you can sober up before you get in the car. If all else fails, ask your gracious hosts if you can crash on the couch.
No Drowsy Driving
Get plenty of sleep before your trip so you’ll be ready for a full day of driving. Chugging coffee, blasting the stereo, and cranking up the A/C don’t always work. So, if you start to feel sleepy while you’re driving, pull over to the side of the road to rest, or switch off with someone else.
Even if you do catch a full night’s sleep, you still might feel like sawing logs after you’ve carved the turkey. If you do fall into a food coma after eating, wait until it’s passed before you get in the car.
If you’re find yourself running late, you may be tempted to put the pedal to the metal to transport yourself toward that roast turkey a little faster. But remember that 43 million other people are going to be out on Thanksgiving driving. Speeding isn’t a good idea when the roads are congested and weather is bad (or even when they’re not). You don’t want to end up spending your holiday in the ICU or taking a traffic school course for a speeding ticket.
I’m definitely going to be wearing my elastic waist pants this Thursday. Don’t deny it—many of you will be doing the same. After gobbling up a sumptuous and bountiful meal, you might think that strapping yourself in with a seat belt is a bit uncomfortable.
Well, not to get too graphic or anything, but wearing a seat belt is definitely not as uncomfortable as getting thrown through a windshield. Seat belts save lives. Be sure to wear yours this weekend.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, everybody!
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Texting Behind the Wheel Costs $10,000…or $20
Texting while driving. Everyone knows it’s dangerous, but people do it all the time anyway, even in the 41 states where it’s illegal.
But there’s a price for this risky behavior, depending on the state you live in. In Alaska, the maximum penalty for texting and driving is a whopping $10,000 fine and a year in jail. At the bottom of the list is California with an embarrassingly small $20 fine, barely even a slap on the wrist. Take a look at this map from Mother Jones to see what the fine is in your state.
A 2012 NHTSA survey found that 94% of drivers think texting and driving should be illegal, and 74% think using the phone at all while driving should be banned. What do these drivers think should be the penalty for talking on the phone while driving? On average, they suggested around $200.
Maximum Fines for Texting & Driving in the U.S.
|Highest Fines||Lowest Fines|
Source: Mother Jones
So would the threat of a $10,000 penalty for texting and driving be enough to keep drivers from doing it? What about $750? Would $200 still be expensive enough to deter distracted drivers? If the cost of these tickets seems high, think about the cost of a person’s life.
If you haven’t already seen Werner Herzog’s “From One Second To The Next” you should. (Two million other people already have.) Made for AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, the short PSA documents four different stories of how lives were destroyed by distracted driving.
There’s been a lot of media focus on the dangers and costs of texting and driving lately. But it’s important not to forget what we all learned in Drivers Education 101: distracted driving of any kind is dangerous and just not worth it. Whether you’re zoning out, eating a snack, putting on makeup, shaving, reading something, or having an argument while driving, the best thing to do is just pull over.
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Did you know that it’s National Teen Driver Safety Week? At DriversEd.com, basically every single week is devoted to teen driver safety. So naturally we couldn’t miss this opportunity to talk about helping teens be safer drivers.
Trends in Teen Driver Safety
Let’s begin with facts and figures. Check out the infographic below to see some trends from 2008 to 2011.
On the whole, there’s reason to rejoice: many risky behaviors are on the decline, and fewer teen drivers and passengers were killed in automobile crashes.
But the numbers also point to areas that still need major improvement:
- 58% of teen drivers killed in collisions weren’t wearing seat belts
- 52% were speeding
- 33% of teens admitted to texting or emailing while driving
Talking to Teens about Safe Driving
Parents, you can play a huge role in your teen’s safety behind the wheel. Make sure your teen is educated on how to be safe, responsible driver. Most states require some form of drivers education and in-car training, and for good reason.
Also think about whether you’re demonstrating good driving behavior when you’re in the driver’s seat. Setting a good—or bad—example can be more influential than you might think.
Most importantly, take the time to talk to your teen about safe driving behavior. National Teen Driver Safety Week might almost over, but it’s never too late to start the conversation about risky driving behavior. These 5 to Drive topics from the NHTSA are a good place to begin.
- No cell phones behind the wheel.
- No extra passengers.
- No speeding.
- No alcohol.
- No driving or riding without a seat belt.