practice drivingIt’s quite common for teen drivers to be nervous about operating a vehicle, especially when they have little to no experience behind the wheel. And since 20% of 11th graders reported being a driver in a crash during the past year, their anxieties aren’t completely unfounded. Studies have actually found that nervous teen drivers tend to be better drivers; they’re more cautious and are less likely to make risky decisions. And while your teen’s nervousness will likely lessen with time, it can be a problem when they first learn to drive or need to take their road test. If your teen is struggling with the driving jitters, there are a few things you can do to help.

  1. Remove the mystery
    Your teen’s anxiety may not completely stem from the act of driving; it’s possible that they may be intimidated by the vehicle and the logistics of how to operate the lights, transmission, pedals, and signals. Before they ever navigate out of the driveway, it’s a good idea for your teen to become more familiar with how the car actually works. Go over how to adjust their mirrors, how to change windshield wiper speeds, how to turn their brights on and off, and how to start, stop, and signal a turn. The sooner they learn these basics and feel comfortable with them, the less thought they’ll have to devote to them. Once these operations feel like second nature, they’ll feel a lot more comfortable behind the wheel.
  2. Enroll them in a beginner driving course
    A tried-and-true way for teens to practice driving when their parents aren’t available is through driving classes. Teens will often feel less nervous with an instructor as compared to driving with a parent in the passenger seat. Even if you don’t make your teenager nervous, it can be helpful to get a more complete overview of the rules of the road and get assistance from a trained instructor. It’s a good way to take the emotion out of the equation. Whether they practice driving with a small group of students or have independent sessions, they can focus specifically on skills that worry them or work on scenarios they might experience once they have their license.
  3. Stick to the familiar
    It can be nerve-wracking to practice driving in an area you’re not very familiar with. Unfamiliar roadways can be tricky, and the last thing your teen needs is to be distracted by a navigation app or GPS. Until they’re more comfortable, it’s best to stick to areas they know well. They should practice driving to school, workplaces, restaurants, malls, parks or other destinations they’ll likely go during their regular routine. Before they get their license, it may also be helpful to drive in the town where they’ll take their road test. However, they may not be able to practice driving with a licensed instructor in the exact area where tests are performed.

New drivers often experience anxiety when they’re first faced with learning how to drive. This is completely normal, but it doesn’t have to impede their independence. Parents need to be encouraging, understanding, and proactive in helping their teens become more comfortable behind the wheel. To find out how a beginner driving course can alleviate anxiety in your teen, contact Driving Arizona today.

drivers educationIt may seem obvious that taking a drivers education course can help keep you safe when you’re on the road. But you might be surprised by how many teens forgo formal drivers ed to learn from a relative or family friend. A report published back in 2012 found that only one in five teens in the U.S. took drivers education classes prior to obtaining their licenses. But we now know definitively that taking drivers ed can significantly reduce the number of car crashes and ticket violations that new drivers face.

According to a 2015 study out of the Nebraska Prevention Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, teens who learn to drive without taking a drivers ed course are 75% more likely to get a traffic ticket, 24% more likely to sustain an injury or die in a car crash, and 16% more likely to have an accident in the first place.

The eight-year study, which involved 150,000 teen drivers, found that 53% of participants took a state-approved beginner driving course; the rest logged their required 50 hours of driving under parental or adult supervision. The first group had far fewer accidents and tickets during their first year of driving than those who had no formal instruction.

For example, of teens who took drivers ed, 11.1% were involved in a crash during that first year. Of those who did not take a formal course, 12.9% were involved in accidents. Around 10.4% of students who had taken a driving course were ticketed for moving traffic violations, while 18.3% of teens who learned from a parent or other adult received tickets for these violations. In addition, similar trends were seen for alcohol-related violations during the second year of driving.

Since teens between the ages of 16 and 19 already have fatality rates four times those of drivers aged 25 to 69, parents need to do everything they can to ensure their new drivers are safe when behind the wheel. While guardians might believe they’re in the best position to teach their children how to drive, these teens will likely receive a more comprehensive education with a trained instructor. From legislation changes to learning to make informed decisions in the car, teens who take drivers ed are typically set up to become better, safer drivers.

To learn more about our Arizona drivers education classes for teens, adults, and new drivers of all kinds, contact Driving Arizona today.

beginner driving school

If you’ve signed up for beginner driving school in hopes of becoming one of the 214 million licensed drivers throughout the country, you probably have some idea of what to expect in these courses. In addition to actually learning the mechanics of driving a car, you’ll find out more about the rules of the road and local laws that impact you while behind the wheel.

AZ drivers, in particular, need to be familiar with state legislation like the “Move Over” law. This law was designed to protect those who serve the public and need roadway clearance to do so, like police officers, firefighters, and emergency workers. In 2011, the law was revised to also include tow truck drivers, work and maintenance crews, roadside assistance personnel, and stranded drivers.

What Does the “Move Over” Law Require?
Drivers must move over to create space (i.e., change lanes) — or slow down, if they are unable to move over — when they see a vehicle with flashing lights pulled over on any type of highway, freeway, street, or city road.

Are There Times When You Shouldn’t Move Over?
If at all possible, you should utilize proper lane change procedures, which you’ll learn in beginner driving school, to move over to the next lane. However, there are situations wherein this won’t be possible. As you practice driving, you’ll find yourself on one-lane roadways or will experience very congested traffic conditions. In cases like these, moving over would be either impossible or unsafe. Should this scenario come up, you should reduce your speed and proceed with caution, keeping a sharp eye out for any people or objects that could enter your lane.

What Can Happen If I Don’t Move Over?
If you have the ability to move over but fail to do so, you could face a hefty fine. Just a few months ago, 26 drivers were stopped on Interstate 19 when they violated this law during an eight-hour police exercise. Officers chose to educate these drivers, giving most written warnings in lieu of citations. Even though the law first took effect in 2005, it’s clear that many Arizona drivers either aren’t aware of the law or simply don’t care enough to follow it. However, if you’re fined, you could be forced to pay up to $650 for the offense.

What Else Should I Know About the “Move Over” Law?
When you learn to drive, you’ll come to understand that laws like these aren’t arbitrary; they were enacted to protect people in dangerous situations. While it may not seem like a big deal to you, a split second decision to not change lanes could impact your life — and the lives of others — forever. In your driving courses, you’ll learn more about what to do in tricky situations that will undoubtedly come up at some point when you’re on the road. Being totally familiar with laws like Arizona’s “Move Over” law will help keep you and others safe (and will keep you from having to pay a heavy fine!).

To find out how beginner driving school can help you learn the rules of the road and become more comfortable behind the wheel, contact Driving Arizona today.

beginner driving schoolParents will do just about anything to keep their kids safe. But even when they stress the importance of safe driving habits, they can’t be in the car every time their teen heads out on the open road. In an effort to keep inexperienced drivers safe and make sure their focus stays where it should, the state of Arizona just passed legislation that will limit cell phone use for new drivers.

Thanks to Governor Doug Ducey, it will soon be illegal for drivers with learner’s permits to text or make calls while behind the wheel. The same law extends to teens during the first six months of having their actual license.

The consequences of being caught will probably be considered fairly severe by many teens. First-time violations can carry a $75 fine and having their new motorist restrictions (which include limitations on the number of teen passengers and for nighttime driving) extended for an extra month. If a teen gets caught a second time, they’ll likely pay a $100 fine and enjoy an additional six months of restrictions. Third violations will receive a 30 day license suspension.

While some legislators pushed back against the legislation, citing that parents have a responsibility to make sure these instances aren’t happening, Ducey knows first-hand that parental advice isn’t always sufficient. Of course, the governor hopes that parents are talking to their kids about the dangers of texting and driving. But now, the law will enforce those lessons.

The law won’t go into effect until July of 2018, so until that time, parents will have to bear the full burden of responsibility. Once it goes into effect, Montana will be the only state in the union that has no restrictions on teen drivers using cell phones. Currently, 46 states plus the District of Columbia ban text messaging by drivers of any age.

While distracted driving is incredibly dangerous for all drivers, it’s particularly so for teens. Around 25% of ninth graders report they’ve already been in a car crash as a passenger. Cell phones are so ubiquitous now that the temptation often proves too great. Young drivers may not think it’s a big deal to check their messages or look down at the phone in their lap for navigation. They also may not think twice about how dangerous it could be to give their friends a ride or drive late at night. While Arizona will now place restrictions on all of these behaviors, it’s important that both inexperienced and seasoned drivers alike understand the hazards of these practices. Beginner driving school is often an important first step in recognizing and eliminating these dangers.

Drivers education classes will not only educate you on how to properly drive a vehicle and become more confident behind the wheel. In beginner driving school, you’ll also learn all about the road laws that impact your daily life and how you can avoid dangerous distracted driving. Whether you’ve just gotten your learner’s permit or just don’t feel comfortable on the road, beginner driving school can help you learn how to stay safe and make good decisions behind the wheel.

Want to find out more how Mesa driving school can help you become a better driver? Our beginner driving courses and defensive driving classes will teach you everything you need to know. For more information, contact Driving Arizona today.

beginner driving courseMany teens want to learn to drive as soon as they’re legally able. For many young people, obtaining a driver’s license is a true rite of passage. But while it may be an important step towards independence, teen drivers are at a much higher risk for road accidents. In their first year on the road, teens are actually nearly 10 times more likely to be involved in a crash. Beginner driving courses are ideal for becoming more comfortable behind the wheel and learning defensive driving skills that can help in tricky situations. But whether you take formal driving classes or learn from a trusted relative, you need to keep these five safety tips in mind whenever you get in the driver’s seat.

  1. Stow Your Cell
    Drivers of all ages may be tempted to text and drive. You may not think answering that message is a big deal, but studies have shown that using even a hands-free phone while driving is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Whether you’re using your phone for navigation or are chatting with a friend, doing so will keep your eyes off the road for several seconds. That might not sound like a lot, but you could drive the length of a football field in less than five “Mississippis.” A lot can happen during that time. As a general rule, stow your cell phone away for the entire trip.
  2. Slow Down
    Even though beginner driving courses will tell them differently, many teens think of speed limits as mere suggestions. They’re a regulation, not a recommendation, and they’re in place for a reason. When teen drivers speed, they’re much more likely to get into an accident. This is especially true if you’re a relatively inexperienced driver traveling along a busy highway or an unfamiliar route. Be sure to obey all speed signs, but in inclement weather or other questionable conditions, don’t hesitate to slow down. The bottom line is if you don’t feel safe, don’t feel pressured to go faster than you should.
  3. Don’t Play Chauffeur
    When you finally get your license, you may want nothing more than to pick up your friends and head out on the town. But having just one additional teen in the car can actually double your risk of getting into an accident. Add more friends, and the situation can become even more dire. Distracted driving comes in many forms, and when you’re less experienced, you’re more likely to be less observant and lose control of your vehicle. As a general rule, you should drive alone until you’ve had a lot more practice.
  4. Keep a Safe Distance
    First of all, you should never tailgate other drivers. This passive-aggressive move will likely just end up hurting you in the end when a driver stops short. If a car is going well under the speed limit, safely merge into the passing lane and go on by. In ideal driving conditions, there should be a two-second gap between your car and the vehicle ahead of you. But if someone is tailgating you, don’t be intimidated. Remember that no one owns the road. As long as you are traveling the speed limit, there’s one thing you should do: ignore this driver’s behavior. Don’t be bullied into traveling at an unsafe speed or making impulsive decisions behind the wheel.
  5. Practice Makes Perfect
    Ultimately, the way to increase your skills and confidence on the road is to practice driving. A beginner driving course can do wonders in this way, especially if you have anxiety about driving and need some one-on-one instruction. Once you attend beginner driving school and spend more time behind the wheel, you’ll be amazed by how much more assured you are. But remember that getting too cocky can also be a problem. Driving is a big responsibility with many dangers. If you become arrogant, you could easily make a risky decision that could culminate in a crash. The more experience you gain, the more informed your choices will be.

If you want to become a better, more confident driver, our beginner driving courses can help you accomplish your goals. For more information, please contact Driving Arizona today.

adult driving courseApproximately 56% of teens rely on their parents to learn to drive. But that’s not to say that every teen feels comfortable behind the wheel. In fact, many adults put off getting their license for years. Whether you’ve just never needed a car or you have anxiety about driving, an adult driving course can help you gain the skills and confidence you need to get out on the road.

How do I know if I should take an adult driving course?
In most cases, if you’re over the age of 18, you’re a good fit for adult driving classes. These adult driving courses can be taught in a classroom setting or in one-on-one sessions. Sometimes, you can even complete part of your education online. If you’re an inexperienced driver or simply want to brush up on your skills, an adult drivers education course is typically the right choice.

Why should I take a course rather than learning from a friend or family member?
One of the benefits of taking driver’s ed is the chance to work with highly experienced instructors. You might think your friend or relative is a great driver, but even the best drivers fudge the rules from time to time. If you want a comprehensive education that will undoubtedly teach you how to drive correctly and safely, a driving class is your best bet.

What are some other advantages of taking drivers ed?
You’ll also learn all about defensive driving, which can keep you safe in tricky circumstances you’ll encounter while behind the wheel. Not only will you learn the skills you need to effectively operate your vehicle, but you’ll come to understand the importance of quick reaction times and assessing situations. Your instructors will also go over the best practices of driving in tough weather conditions and how to avoid distracted driving.

Is there a reason to take an adult driving class after I have my license?
Actually, yes! Many insurance companies will provide discounts on your premium for completing an adult or defensive driving course. Taking classes like these show your insurance company that you’re doing your part to stay informed on all relevant driving laws and want to continue to improve your skills. Essentially, they’ll reward you for being a better driver.

No matter your age, becoming a safe, reliable driver will certainly pay off. To find out more about how driver’s ed courses can help you achieve your goals, get in touch with us today.

drivers educationThere are more than 200 million licensed drivers in the United States, but unfortunately, not everyone is a safe driver. In fact, motor vehicle collisions are the top cause of death and injury in the workplace, and a single accident can easily cost almost $1.5 million. Given that almost 90% of workers in the United States commute via car or truck and that we drive almost 30 miles a day, that’s a lot of time we spend at risk.

If you’re just starting to learn to drive, taking drivers education courses is a smart and safe way to get on the road. Almost 60% of teens are taught by their parents to drive, but having a more structured drivers education program can help reinforce safety and good driving techniques.

How Do Beginner Driving Courses Help?
If you attend a driving school or take a school-based driving program, you’ll have the benefit of knowing what the state expects from you during your driving test — both on the road and the written exam. Much like preparing for a standardized exam, they courses give you a comprehensive overview of how to be a safe driver and other basic rules of the road. Though parents can teach the basics of driving, they may not be able to help as much with the details of traffic laws and all the other trivia included on the written exam. It’s probably second nature to them at this point, after all!

A driving course will also emphasize the importance of driving without distractions (like why you shouldn’t be checking your phone, fiddling with the radio, applying make-up, or other things that take your eyes off the road), how to drive on the freeway or in bad weather, and even city driving, if you’re near a big urban area. You’ll also build up the required number of driving hours needed for your driving exam via a structured driving course.

What are the Risks for New Drivers?
Most drivers are young, as you can get your permit at age 16 in most states and can be on the road by the time you’re 17. Teens tend to be more prone to distraction and risky behavior while on the road. For example, only 65% of teens always wear their seat belts — either as a driver or a passenger. They also don’t have as much driving experience as older drivers, so certain situations like bad weather or defensive driving can prove more dangerous.

Indeed, the first year that teens are on the road, they’re almost 10 times more likely to be involved in a crash. Before they graduate high school, 20% of 11th graders say that they’ve been in a crash as a driver and a quarter of 9th graders say they’ve been in a crash as a passenger. And the fatality rate for drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 is four times that of drivers who are between the ages of 25 and 69.

Why Should New Drivers Of All Ages Look Into Defensive Driving Courses?
Safety should be the primary reason for taking a defensive driving course, but there are other reasons. After receiving a ticket or similar driving offense, it can be helpful or necessary to brush up on basic driving skills. Over the course of the drivers education program, you’ll learn strategies to better your driving skills by learning how to anticipate and respond to difficult situations. You’ll learn how to react based on road or weather conditions to make your driving the safest it can possibly be. Crash prevention techniques will also be covered, as will dangers like distracted driving, psychological risks (like stress or fatigue), and driving under the influence.

Plus, if you take a DMV approved defensive driving course, you could save significant money on your car insurance. And if you have a ticket, a defensive driving course can also help take points off your license.

If you’re a new driver, taking advantage of all the drivers education courses you can will only help make you a safer driver on the road. If you’re a more experienced driver, it’s still a good idea to update yourself on rules of the road and safe driving practices.

adult driving courseIn the U.S., many teenagers just can’t wait to get their driver’s license. As soon as they’re of legal age, they’ll run out and obtain their permits or will sign up for drivers education classes right away. But this isn’t the case with every teen. Depending on your level of comfort or even on where you live, you might not want to learn to drive right away. Regardless of the reason, it’s really not uncommon for adults to put off becoming a licensed driver.

At a certain point, though, you may decide it’s time to learn. While some people may want to rely on a trusted family member or friend to teach them, an adult driving course is often a much better option. Here are a few of the ways an adult driving course can help you become more competent and comfortable behind the wheel.

  • Increased Independence
    There’s nothing quite like the freedom of being able to provide your own transportation. In many areas, public transportation is hard to come by, and having to rely on someone else to get you from place to place becomes tedious very quickly. It can also put severe limits on both your social life and your professional opportunities. Since around 86% of U.S. workers commuted by car in 2013, not having reliable transportation can make it hard to go about your daily life. An adult driving course will teach you everything you need to know to operate a vehicle in a safe and efficient way, making it so you’ll no longer have to be dependent on others for a ride.
  • Improved Confidence
    Another positive outcome of taking an adult driving course is that your confidence will soar — and not just when you’re in the car! When you feel more independent, you’ll often feel a lot more confident by default. And as you gain valuable skills, you’ll feel assured in your abilities to handle tricky traffic situations. You’ll probably surprise yourself with how much you learn and how adept you are in the driver’s seat. That confidence will likely translate into other areas of your life, and you’ll probably feel relieved that you finally decided to learn. While you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about not having a license, you’ll feel great when you finally obtain it.
  • Superior Safety Knowledge
    Learning how to drive from a peer can work for some people, but it’s not a comprehensive means of education. Adult driving courses, on the other hand, cover not only the mechanics of driving but important regulations that help keep you and other drivers safe. When you learn how to drive from a friend, you could very well pick up on their habits or unsafe behaviors. But when you learn from a certified instructor, you’ll know that the information you’re receiving is correct. With the knowledge you learn in class, you can keep yourself safe and calm in stressful situations. Sometimes, waiting until later in life to learn how to drive can make you more cautious on the road, so you may actually have an advantage over others!

If you’re ready to learn how to drive, our driving school is here to help. For more information on our programs, please contact Driving Arizona today.

drivers education classesWhen you’re a new driver, you’re probably going to be cautious when behind the wheel. But when you’ve been a licensed driver for a number of years, you actually may be more likely to take an increased amount of risks on the road; most people think that their experience will help them stay safe. And sometimes, that experience can help you make sound decisions in traffic. But other times, your ego may get in the way and result in a potentially deadly miscalculation. After all, motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of both injury and death in the workplace, and the cost of a single accident like this could exceed $1.4 million.

While a fender-bender probably won’t cost you that much, you should still take steps of avoid any kind of car accident. Whether you’ve made some poor driving decisions in the past or simply want to gain more knowledge pertaining to how you should react in common traffic situations, a defensive driving course can help you gain the skills you need. Here are just a few reasons to consider taking defensive drivers education classes.

  1. You’ll become a better driver
    First and foremost, a defensive driving class will help increase your skill level. Not only are these driver education classes a great refresher for drivers of any age, but they will teach you how to factor in psychological components and weather conditions, understand the dynamics of a crash, and reduce your risk of being involved in an accident. You’ll also learn how to monitor the skills of both yourself and others and go over the importance of eliminating distractions behind the wheel. The subjects you cover in a defensive driving course will help keep you safe and will allow you to make more informed decisions when you get behind the wheel.
  2. You can reduce points on your record
    If you’ve received points on your license as a result of unpaid fines, lack of insurance, or from driving under the influence, you may be able to get those points reduced or removed by attending defensive drivers education classes. In addition, if you’ve had your license suspended as a result of those license points, you may be able to get it reinstated after completion of this course.
  3. You can decrease your insurance rates
    Many insurance companies will offer incentives for the completion of drivers education classes. You’ll have to check with your specific insurance company to be sure, but many companies offer discounts of up to 10% on your premium for a number of years if you’ve completed a state-approved driving course. You’ll likely need to keep a clean driving record without any accidents, but fortunately, a defensive driving course will teach you how to do just that.

Want to learn more about the courses at our AZ traffic school? Contact Driving Arizona today for information on how our programs can help keep you safe on the road.

adult driving classesThe average American drives 29.2 miles per day. That number may seem like a lot when you’re first starting to learn to drive, especially if your anxiety levels skyrocket when you just think about getting behind the wheel. Since cars (and driving them) are a necessity in most parts of the country, driving anxiety can severely limit how you’re able to get around, as well as your overall independence. While a fear of driving is fairly common, you don’t have to let it dictate your life. Our adult driving classes will allow you to receive individualized training and advance at your own pace, which can help to reduce driving anxiety. It will take some time and dedication, but if you follow the tips below, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a confident, competent driver.

Our Top Tips For Anxious Drivers

  • Create a relaxation ritual
    Before you even get in the car, it may help you to have a little relaxation routine to ease your mind and body. If you’re prone to anxiety attacks, make sure you eat a nutritious meal and hydrate adequately prior to your driving sessions. You’ll also want to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Should you start to feel nervous, deep abdominal breathing can help immensely. Focusing on these slow breaths will take your mind off your nervousness. Once you get into the car, check items off your prep list, like adjusting your mirrors and seat.
  • Find an understanding instructor
    Of course, taking adult driving courses are an important part of facing your fears. But it’s also important to find an instructor who understands your situation and teaches in a way that reduces, rather than exacerbates, your anxiety. All of our instructors and educators for our adult driving classes are highly experienced and knowledgeable. In fact, they’re the best in the entire state. Most adult driving schools will be able to make recommendations for instructors who are particularly adept at working with new or anxious drivers. Not every instructor’s teaching style will be the same, so finding an encouraging, understanding instructor can make all the difference.
  • Take it slow
    When you practice driving with your instructor, remember that you should take things at your own pace. Feeling rushed or under-prepared will just add to your anxiety, so don’t be afraid to take your time. Start by building your skills in less-stressful environments and build up to more complicated tasks in crowded areas. Your instructor should check in often with you and make a determination as to whether you’re ready to move on to the next level. If you don’t feel quite ready, schedule an additional lesson to work on it a bit more. Want to practice turning or parallel parking? Your instructor can take you to a less-busy area to hone your skill. Feel uncomfortable on the highway? Schedule your lesson during mid-day, when it’ll be less crowded on major roadways, and ease into it.
  • Practice, practice, practice
    If you don’t drive, it’s always going to seem daunting. The only way to increase your skills and your comfort level is to practice driving. Ideally, you’ll want to schedule lessons weekly; if you schedule them bi-weekly, you’ll want to practice quite a bit in between. Don’t go too long between lessons, as this will give your anxiety a chance to creep up and keep you from wanting to get behind the wheel. If you don’t feel like you have enough experience with a particular skill, don’t avoid it. That avoidance will just create more anxiety. Instead, face your fears in a controlled environment with an instructor you trust. As you drive more and more, you’ll gain experience and will be able to gauge situations better. Keep at it, and eventually you won’t even remember a time when you were scared to drive!

If you’re ready to overcome your driving anxiety, our adult driving classes can help you achieve your goals. For more information on our adult driving classes or hourly individual training sessions, contact Driving Arizona today.