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Driving for instruction in school

An explanation on why drivers ed should be a class at Westfield High School

Madelyn Evans

Staff Writer

November 3, 2021

Turning 15 is exciting! New opportunities flood in and things that may have seemed so far away are suddenly right in front of you. Specifically, driving. Now, if one wants to remain self-taught for driving, they technically have to wait until they are 16 to gain their learners permit to start learning how to drive with a parent or adult of 25 years of age or older, but, there is an alternative situation to where they can get their actual driver’s license at after having a permit for 180 days: driver’s ed. The problem is that many are very busy with school, sports, jobs, clubs, and everyday life and responsibilities to give time to the 30-hour requirement of online work, not to mention the six hours of a licensed driving instructor. There is one way that time can be saved, or rather, converted.

At Westfield High School, there is a huge variety of classes to take that some students wouldn’t get the opportunity to do. There are classes in construction, ceramics, drums, and even child development, to name a few. So why not incorporate a drivers ed class into the mix? This way, students would be in school receiving both in-classroom instruction without a large risk of cheating, and also won’t have to set driving aside. Many may think that driver’s ed is not beneficial and will just wait until they are able to learn to drive with an adult, but they are mistaken. According to a study by AAA, driver’s ed reduces teen crash rates by 4.3% and lowers the number of traffic tickets by 40%. If the school were to install a driver’s education course during school hours, then many students would have the opportunity to be properly educated, making the roads a safer place. If the Coronavirus taught us anything during lockdown, it’s that a vast majority of people learn better when they are in a real class environment instead of at the kitchen table. According to statistics by Grayson County schools (TX), one school had 62% of virtual learners failing at least one class with 54% failing two or more. If one is in a physical classroom, students will have an easier time taking in the information given, which can lead to a better chance of them processing the information. The more information remembered, the safer it will be for them on the road. Not only will it be safer for teens on the road, but also for all the many drivers on the roads around them. Another factor is that virtual learning opens a door for students to be more likely to cheat. According to a study done in 2009, 73.8% of students that were surveyed felt that it was easier to cheat in an online class. The less educated students are, then the less likely it will be for them to pass the driving test. Even if they do pass the test, they may not have extra information that could benefit them on the road.

In conclusion, driver’s ed should be an option for the students of Westfield High School to take in class during the year. While it is beneficial to learn online, it also allows students to not have to worry about cramming another thing into their already busy schedule.

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