- Young and beginning drivers need to develop safe driving habits taught by a professional.
- There are government-approved driving schools in both Ontario and Alberta.
- Driver’s training teaches drivers of all levels of experience defensive driving principles and how to safely handle situations that arise on the road.
Some of us might scoff at the notion of drivers’ education but we shouldn’t. Whether you’re an aspiring young driver who’s learning the rules of the road, a newly licensed driver, or someone with years of experience behind the wheel, there are benefits for all to be had by taking a driver’s training course.
Young and beginning drivers need to develop safe driving habits taught by a professional. Doing so will give them confidence behind the wheel and instill a foundation of smart driving skills that will last a lifetime. For more experienced and senior drivers, training can help you brush up on your driving skills and eliminate unsafe habits you may have unknowingly developed over the years.
At its core, drivers’ education through a recognized driving school allows you to develop safe driving habits under the supervision of a professional that, in turn, can help you avoid getting into a collision.
Which driver’s training course should you pick?
There are government-approved driving schools in both Ontario and Alberta. Be advised not all driving schools offer government-approved training courses. In general, a government-recognized course will include up to 40 hours of instruction, both in-class and in-vehicle training.
In Ontario, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) recognizes “MTO-approved beginner driver education courses” from a broad range of driving schools in the province. It’s worthwhile to check the MTO’s list of ministry-approved courses before choosing a driving school.
Meanwhile, Alberta Transportation requires all driver training providers in that province to be licensed by the government, and it maintains a list of driver training schools across Alberta.
Before selecting a course to sign up for, ask a few questions, including:
- Is the driving school and instructor certified and recognized by your province?
- Is the driving school recognized by your insurer?
- What is the curriculum and what teaching methods will be used?
- Can you learn on a vehicle with either an automatic or standard transmission?
- Can you meet with the instructor who is teaching the class and conducting the in-vehicle training?
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What will you learn at a driver’s training course?
Driver’s training gives you the opportunity to get comfortable behind the wheel if you’re a new motorist and teaches drivers of all levels of experience defensive driving principles and how to safely handle situations that arise on the road.
Some of what you can expect to learn about includes:
- The rules of the road and the right-of-way
- Collision, head-on, and rear-crash avoidance
- Merging into traffic, switching lanes, and turning
- Driving on a highway and city streets
- Driving in poor weather conditions
- Using U-turns and roundabouts
- How to park properly whether on a street or in a parking lot
- How to avoid distracted driving
- Steering and skidding control
How can a driver’s training course help you save money on insurance?
Many insurers offer discounts to newly licensed drivers of any age who graduate from a recognized driver’s training course. The amount of the discount may vary by insurer, but it could be as much as 30%, so it’s worthwhile to contact your carrier or broker in advance to find out which driving schools they recognize, and what type of discount you can get on your premium.
If your car insurance provider does not offer a discount for taking a driver’s training course, that’s even more reason to shop around and find an insurer that does.