As you conduct your research on the driving school you will pick for your household’s new driver, you may find yourself taken aback by the sheer number of driving programs available. There may be many driver programs around these days, but not all of them can truly prepare a new driver adequately. There are certain requirements and credentials that a driving instructor must have to fit the bill of a proper driving instruction program. The following are some considerations for your household’s new driver or yourself before you enroll and attend a driving program.
• Pick a Government-Approved Driver Education Program for Beginners
You will want to ensure that the drivers ed you are considering offers an Alberta Transportation Approved Education Program for Beginner Drivers. This governmental approval means that the school was issued the proper license by the Alberta Transportation agency.
• Ensure the Selected School has a Still-Current Alberta Transportation License
Make sure that Arrow driving School or any school that is on your shortlist is Alberta Transportation Approved and is not on their revoked list.
• Find Out the Instructor’s Credentials
Before enrolling your new driver or yourself, verify that the schools’ instructors are legitimately insured and certified by a trustworthy third-party. All driving instructors should have been issued a valid Instructor License by the Alberta Transportation agency to teach a Beginner Driver Education Program.
• Inquire about School Class Sizes
For proper new driver instruction, the school needs to have functional classroom supplies and facilities. There should also be a low ratio between the number of students and the number of teachers. The classrooms should not detract from the learning experiences. Every student in each class should get periodic progress and evaluation reports from their instructors during the entire program.
• Ensure In-Car Insurance is Available
Every school training vehicle must be provided full insurance coverage, complete with an endorsement from the school. Each vehicle must also be visibly identified as a vehicle belonging to a driving school. The relevant school’s Driver Instructor License must be visibly displayed within the training vehicle at any time during instruction.
• Get Suggestions from Knowledgeable Friends and Family
It would be unwise to pick a new and relatively untried driving school. Check with your friends, family and with community members to get their suggestions and recommendations for drivers ed. You can also search online for informative online reviews and helpful testimonials.
• When to Use a Driving Instructor
Obviously, new drivers will not have to do all of their driving practice exclusively with a properly licensed driving instructor. It is a good idea to have the new driver clock some hours with a driving instructor early in their training period. This improves the chances of removing bad driving habits from new drivers in the early stages. You could work with a driving instructor and receive driving lessons late in the preparation period, but it may not be as effective as it could have been.
• Driving Instructor Qualifications
Driving instructors must have certain credentials and meet certain qualifications as part of their role. These qualifications include:
1. Completed and submitted instructor application form
2. Possession of a full Driver License
3. The Instructor only teaches in the class that they have a license for
4. Passed an approved course on driver instruction principles
5. Prove that the prospective instructor’s eyesight is within the acceptable standard
6. Pay all required fees for processing documents
If a new driver’s primary language is not English, it should be possible to find an instructor or a school that can teach you driving principles and skills in your native language. It is possible to take your learner license in one of several languages. However, keep in mind that road signs are only in English, and you may need to understand the language in some detail for practical driving purposes. You should work with an instructor who can simultaneously help you with your English language skills if they could use some work.
Due to cultural beliefs, religious tenets or personal preferences, you may have a preference for an instructor of a particular gender. You have the option of choosing an instructor that fits your gender preference, as this is not seen as discriminatory.
• Kind of Vehicle
You will want to make sure that the car that you prefer is provided by the instructor. This applies to both automatic and manual cars. Taller students may prefer a larger vehicle for extra legroom and space. Other students with disabilities may have to use their cars for the instructor to evaluate them. Otherwise, the disabled student may have to seek out an instructor that can accommodate their needs.
• Preferred Instructor Type
During your research into your preferred driving program, determine if you would like an independent driving instructor or other forms of driving lessons. Driving schools, such as Arrow driving School, can offer new drivers a range of instructors and cars to use. These schools can also provide other instructors for new driving students if an instructor is ill or otherwise unavailable on a given day. However, there are quite a few benefits involved in working with an independent driving instructor. Independent driving instructors can have a specialization in particular niches, can provide services in geographical regions that driving schools might not be able to reach, and have more flexible hours of availability.
• Instructor Personality
Your driving instructor should be a comforting presence, whether in the classroom or in the car during on-road training exercises. He or she should be engaged, calm and understanding of the challenges you face as a driving student. The instructor should also be constructive, providing actionable feedback and even demonstrations. Take note if the instructor does not alert you to mistakes that you notice, as you will face a more severe test of your skills and training during the examination.
• Instructor Availability and Scheduling
Instructors have a busy schedule, particularly during the mid-afternoons of Monday through Friday, as high schools finish classes. To get the maximum amount of instructor availability, you should book the same time slots for each class you intend to attend. This gives the instructor the consistency they need to plan out their days. If you must cancel a lesson, please ensure that the cancellation is made in the required time-frame as determined by the school or the instructor’s policy. While some instructors are more lenient than others, you should not count on them to make an exception for you.
• Lesson Materials
Keep in mind that certain instructors may prefer to hand out additional lesson materials for your new driver or you. These extra materials may provide more information about driving techniques. The materials can come in many forms, such as:
1. Links that lead to online videos
2. Written materials
4. Visual materials
• Lesson Structure
Instructors will prefer to offer long lessons to their driving students, as this will reduce the amount of time that they will spend driving. This is an effective way of teaching in larger cities, where rush hour traffic and driving can be an ineffective use of valuable driving class time. It may be best for new drivers to start with one-hour lessons. Two-hour lessons may overload the minds of new student drivers. As the driving students progress through the course and have some more practice with driving, it may be advisable for them to move up to two-hour lessons.
When picking instructors, you can get a great deal if you work with the instructor on a package that includes a series of lessons. Although it’s important to get a good deal on your driving education, price should not be the sole criterion for selecting a driving instructor. Some independent instructors may offer cheap packages or lessons because they have subpar results with their students or a poor reputation from previous clients. If you choose poorly, you may wind up going through more lessons than you would have with a better, more effective driving instructor. Before signing up for a driving course, you should check if there are any financial penalties related to cancelling the course.
Find out from your instructor if the instructor or the school offers full liability insurance. It is wise to protect yourself from being held liable for any damages to property, the instructor’s car or your car if you get involved in an accident.
• Finding a Driving Instructor
There are several things that you can do to find the right driving instructor for you:
1. Get recommendations from friends and family
2. Search for “driving school website” and for local instructors
3. Look through school and local newspapers and newsletters
4. Search for driving instructors’ websites or for their pages on a driving school website