HELPFUL INFORMATION
GULF COAST DRIVING ACADEMY

    Parent Taught vs. Professionally Taught Driver’s Ed

Why Choose Parent Taught? - Point - We understand that your teen is involved in many different activities and that your time and money is valuable.  We also believe your teen is even more valuable.  

SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO DO THE CLASSROOM ONLY, please contact the Department of Public Safety as that department regulates the requirements for parent taught courses.   Gulf Coast Driving Academy does not keep DPS requirements on hand as they are subject to change regularly

1. You may believe parent taught is cheaper--it cost $20 bucks with DPS. But is it really? Most auto insurance companies offer a 10% discount off teen's insurance premiums for a three year period. This discount usually offsets the tuition for Teen Drivers Education during the first year

2.   Convenience--I can do it at home. Because you have lots of time to teach? Most adults have very little time to teach the drivers education material (1500 pages of information). Our school has convenient classes geared for a teen's busy schedule. PLUS...with Parent Taught once you receive your $20 packet from DPS (which takes 6 weeks to receive) you must make a trip to DPS and stand in line to register to be your child's drivers ed instructor. By registering you are agreeing to teach every task outlined in the classroom and in-car program.

3.   Parents know how to drive and can teach their own kids.   In reality most parents acquire many bad driving habits over the years; (Do you always use your turn signal? Stop behind the stop sign or white crosswalk? Ever change lanes in an intersection?) And finally, the parent/teen teaching experience is very stressful and challenging at best and your family car has no instructor brakes or safety equipment.

Please review the following study by Texas Transportation Institute

Since Parent Taught (PT) was introduced in 1997 the number of teen accidents and deaths have been on the rise.

In April of 2007, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) released an extensive report comparing PT to professional Driver’s Education schools. Their findings show that teenagers taught to drive by someone other than a professional driver education instructor are more likely to be involved in a serious traffic crash. The study found that after supervisory and Graduated Driver License restrictions are removed, PT drivers are nearly three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than young drivers taught by commercial driving school instructors.

Parents are not required to complete any training, whereas DE Instructors are required to complete a rigorous 135 hour course of in-car and classroom training before being certified to teach teens to drive.

TTI’s study found that (Parent-Taught) novice drivers were more likely to be convicted of driving violations, including speeding and more likely to be in a serious crash. In the six months of driving experience following the learners’ permit period, (as soon as the student receives their license) PT drivers were involved in nearly 50 percent more crashes, in which at least one person received a serious injury. Similarly, during the year following the period where the student is supervised by an adult, PT drivers were involved in fatal crashes at a much higher rate than teens who completed commercial driving school education. They also learned that most parents don’t read or teach the entire DE curriculum, leaving out important information.

As a result, Texas Legislation is considering the following improvements:

Strengthen the criteria for parental participation in the PT program, including the disqualification of parents with poor driving records.

Require training and/or testing for parents who want to teach their children to drive.

Improve the monitoring of and accountability for the activities of the Parent Taught program.

Require road tests for all drivers under the age of 18 before granting a license.

**The study was conducted by TTI for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and involved analysis of 1.4 million driver records, a mail survey of young drivers and nine focus groups of teen drivers, their parents and driver education instructors.

***If you're still unsure, please give us a call. Thanks!