The ability to drive opens up a world of limitless possibilities to teenagers. When you’re no longer reliant on your friends and family members to take you places — whether they’re work-, school-, or fun-related — you realize how much freedom you have. Although cross-country road trips at the age of 16 might be off the table, you can still experience life without a chaperone.
However, you have to obtain your license before you go tasting that sweet open road, and that begs the question: should you trust your parents or a professional driving instructor to teach you the ropes? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.
Your parents have taught you pretty much everything you know in life, so it seems natural to go to them for such a big change. You’ve already developed a trustworthy relationship, making driving lessons — especially those on faster roads — much less anxiety-inducing; in the same vein, you won’t need to worry about sharing a vehicle with five other students who are watching your every move. Because your parents have extensive practice driving, they’ll be able to share the basic rules of the road (including any pertinent or vital information, like traffic laws and signage meanings) with you.
However, as much as they may act like it, parents don’t know everything. They may share outdated or incorrect information during your traffic lessons because they simply don’t know what has changed. At the same time, they will not be as knowledgeable when it comes to details, such as how to react in rare emergency situations.
A Professional Touch
Though you may find the first few driving classes stilted and socially uncomfortable, you’ll be exposed to a lot more information. Driving safety school gives real, practical advice on how to behave and what to expect when you’re inside a two-ton vehicle driving 65 mph down the highway. As a result of the school-like learning system, you’re also much more likely to retain what you’ve been taught.
In reality, you don’t have to choose between your parents and a certified driving instructor; by attending driving safety school and practicing with your parents at home, you can get the best of both worlds. It has been statistically proven that teens are nearly 10 times more likely to be in a crash, so the more experience you can accrue, the better.