How Has Driver's Ed Changed Over the Last 10 Years?

No matter how long it's been since you took driver's ed, you'll find a few significant changes to the material presented to potential drivers in 2020. We now have decades-worth of statistics and crash test results that help us understand how to better avoid injury and death as a result of car crashes. As a result, a few basic rules have changed. How we think about distracted driving and driving under the influence is hopefully creating a safer driving environment for everyone on the road, as well.

Technology in Modern Cars Changed How We Drive

Ten years ago, advanced safety technology in cars wasn't widely available. Now, rearview cameras, tire pressure monitoring systems, forward collision warning systems, automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot warning systems are standard equipment on many new vehicles. These systems help drivers avoid accidents and reduce the severity of accidents. 

Driver's education courses that help students pass DMV-required written and drive tests stress the need to pay attention while driving, even though advanced technology may create an increased feeling of security. Your vehicle can help you drive safely, but it isn't a replacement for your eyes and ears.

"The information provided through vehicle sensors is no comparison to the reaction time saved by actually observing the entire surroundings oneself," said David Reischer, Esq., Traffic Lawyer & CEO of "Sensors are a great assistant, but can never become a replacement for a driver to focus their attention on their actual surroundings."

10 and 2 Is Now 9 and 3

If you took driver's ed years ago, you may remember that keeping your hands on the steering wheel at the 10:00 and 2:00 position was standard practice. Now, we know that 9:00 and 3:00 work better for the driver's comfort and for their safety, in case the airbag deploys.

Navigation Systems Contribute to Driver Distraction

If you are driving in an unfamiliar area or in heavy traffic, your car or phone's navigation system can help you find your way safely. However, navigation screens can be a distraction that ultimately increases your chances of being in an accident. While the technology is wonderful, it's important to use the hands-free and eyes-free settings on navigation systems whenever possible. Modern driver's education classes cover how to use navigation systems safely.

Driver's Education Courses Are Now Online

In 32 states, new drivers must complete a state-approved driver's education course to take the driver's test at the DMV. In many states, you can fulfill your driver's education requirements with an online option through Aceable. More states than ever now allow online driver's education courses to help fulfill the legal requirement for getting a license. Aceable currently offers state-approved online driver's education in Texas, California, Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.

These classes teach defensive driving tactics, traffic laws, how to handle a police stop, and how to interpret road signs. They also cover issues surrounding alcohol and drug use as they relate to driving. Sharing the road with motorcyclists and bicyclists, remaining aware of your surroundings at all times, and safely operating a vehicle in various weather conditions are also important subjects in driver's education classes.

Try the New Driver's Ed

If your state requires driver's ed to get your license renewed, remove points from your license, or get a new license, consider taking an online driver's education course. These classes can help you brush up on your driving skills and learn about how technology has changed how we can safely operate vehicles on the road.

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