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Preparing to Become a New Driver: Which States Require Drivers Ed?

State Requirements for New Drivers: Which States Require Drivers EdDriving is overwhelming for many new teen drivers. In fact, that’s the case for many adult drivers as well. Having to learn traffic rules and signs is terrifying and may seem complicated, especially when teens are trying to retain large amounts of information from so many sources. Throw in the added fear of veering or swerving into the neighboring lane when driving, and many new drivers become reluctant ever to step foot behind the wheel.

Drivers education courses are an excellent way for teens to learn the rules of the road from licensed professionals, geared with the knowledge to train them. Not only are these courses beneficial, but in many states, but they required training for all new drivers.

Why Take a Drivers Ed Course?

If it isn’t necessary in your state, you might be asking yourself why you’d spend the time and money to take a drivers ed course. Drivers education is an excellent resource for teens preparing for their driving exam. In many states, rules are complex and often difficult to remember. And, for some teens, the thought of parallel parking causes fear which hinders their ability to perform well during their exam. Licensed and certified driving instructors have seen it all and trained students at all skill levels so that they can help you as well.

Apart from helping teens relax, some benefits of drivers ed courses include:

  • Teaching teens road signs and traffic laws
  • Teaching them defensive driving habits so they are alert and ready for anything they encounter on the road
  • Possibly reducing insurance premiums (in some states)
  • Giving teens more confidence in their skills, since they’re practicing the skills with a licensed professional.

The high rate of accidents which are caused by 15-18-year old drivers is remarkable. Studies indicate that states requiring drivers ed courses can help novice drivers remain safer behind the wheel, and help minimize the total number of traffic accidents in this age range.

Is Drivers Ed Required in My State?

Every state has its own set of rules as it relates to drivers ed courses. Today, 32 states require teens to take drivers ed before they can sit in for the written and driving exam to get their drivers license. In some states, the requirement is only for teens age 14-18 who are sitting in for the exam. In others, all new drivers are required to take an educational training course. There are also rules in place for states that don’t have a drivers ed program requirement. For example, in Alaska, teens must have 40-hours of driving experience, with a licensed adult, before they can take their exam.

It is important to get additional information from your state’s DMV office to know the hour requirements for classroom and driving training before you can get your license.

Should You Participate in Drivers Ed If It Isn’t Required?

Yes! Students will only benefit from the training and instruction a licensed driver education instructor provides. They will learn the rules of the road, how to make a 3-point turn, whether or not they can make a U-turn on certain streets, and they’ll receive answers to any other questions they have as new drivers.

Head to DriversEd.com for more details on the requirements mandated by your state, or to sign up for behind-the-wheel driving lessons with our professional instructors. We also offer other support for parents, via Mentor for Families — eDriving’s safe driving app — and through other resources. Read “Supervised Driving Practice: Don’t Just Be a Passenger, Be an Educator,” on DriversEd.com.

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