Learning to drive online Ė itís no game!

By Sarah Klein

Your teen is about to become a new driver. She is ready to explore her new independenceÖand youíre terrified, imagining every conceivable thing that could go wrong!

And with good reason Ė there is plenty for parents to worry about when it comes to new drivers and accident rates. Driverís Ed is supposed to calm some of the nerves Ė for new drivers and their parents Ė but truth is, classroom programs are often costly, boring, and out-of-date.

Today, there are new, cheaper, and (seemingly) more exciting options available online to prepare teens for this rite of passage. Taking a Driverís Ed course online gives teens the freedom to learn everything they need to gain a driverís permit, at their own pace and in their own time.

There are many options: DriversEd.com, Driver'sEdOnline.com, and TeenDrivingCourse.com are just a few. Most include helpful, fun. and interactive tools like videos, animated 3-D graphics, and practice tests. Of course, the online programs are only part of the story. After completion of the classes, a teen is still required to log state-required hours behind the wheel in the company of an adult.

But what about all those driving video games teens love to play? A particularly popular online version is actually called Driverís Ed, but is it helping to improve real-world driving skills?

Researchers say itís unlikely. The games foster a feeling of invincibility in teenage drivers. In the virtual world, players race at precarious speeds, plow through traffic, and can be involved in multiple crashes without suffering any repercussions. All it takes is a click of the mouse to start over as if it never happened. Studies have found that teens say they understand the difference between playing a video game and real-life driving, but the games still appear to increase risk-taking behavior in young drivers.

Definitely check out what the web has to offer for new drivers. Just keep in mind itís best to stick to state-approved programs if education is the goal. The games are fun, but thatís about all they are meant to be.

Comment by Alan, posted 8/28/2012, 2:03 PM:

Good article, real driving is much different than any game. Online drivers ed is a great resource that was not available back in my day. A recent one that I have seen is <a href="http://igottadrive.com">igottadrive.com</a> that is a very interactive program. A great program at a great price.
Comment by Scott Caan, posted 6/14/2010, 10:48 PM:

Nice article which explains about the feeling of every parent towards there teen safety. Drivers Ed Online this has become a wonderful option for all the parents where they can educate there teens sitting at there home. I would like to add one more to the Drivers Ed Online Course provider and that is drivereducation-online.com These guys are also very good and more over provide the course for very affordable prices.
Comment by lizzie, posted 1/21/2010, 2:36 AM:

good info you have here
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