ENROLL NOW!

Drivers Education

Take advantage of our online registration for Drivers Education!

REGISTER NOW


Online Driver Improvement Program

We also offer an option to register for or take your Driver Improvement Program online!

LEARN MORE

    • The most IMPORTANT part of driver's education is the Mentor.

      Read helpful hints and tips to help a rookie driver become successful!

    • Read more
    • Preparing yourself for the learner's permit exam?

      Test your knowledge by taking a practice test online provided by the MVA!

    • Read more

Home / Future Drivers / Parent Involvement

The most important part of driver education is the Mentor (normally a parent). Perry Hall Driving School requires the mentor to attend the first session (1 ½ hour) with the new student. During this class the program will be explained in detail to the mentor and student. Did you know that injuries and deaths behind the wheel drop dramatically when parents/mentors get directly involved in their young driver’s training? It is true!!

Studies have found that it takes about five years for a new driver to have skills of an “average” driver. When you are helping a rookie driver you must remember that even though he or she may show excellent skill in the physical control of an auto, the most difficult aspect of “safe driving” is the proper use of one’s eyes plus the ability to think ahead, predicting all of the possible moves of the traffic around them. “Remember”, your wisdom and guidance as an experienced driver is very crucial, especially “after” your new driver is licensed.

“We” are all aiming for the same goal, keeping your new driver safely on the road

Tips on helping a rookie driver

Controlling your emotions is a goal you want to learn. A new driver will be nervous and “surprise”…so will their mentor. Teaching someone to drive works best if both parties remain “calm”, which may be easier said than done. Hopefully some of these hints will be helpful to you:

  • No passengers…just you and your student in the front seat and no tag-a-longs in the back seat. It is just too distracting for you both.
  • A mentor should have your left hand on your lap, ready to help control the wheel.
  • Speak to the rookie driver in a steady voice-be understanding of their emotions.
  • When driving use the word “correct” to confirm and the word “right” to direct…this really helps!
  • Start in a safe environment such as a high school parking lot after hours or on weekends, or any open area with very little or no traffic. The road is not the best place to learn how to drive…a parking lot is!
  • Discuss exactly what you will be doing every step of the way-that way there will be no “surprises”. This is when he/she will learn the basics: steering, accelerating, and braking.
  • Allow the student to get the feel of the car and its controls by slowly driving around the lot. Allow then moving freely about the area, occasionally having them stop and start. Pretend that the parking lane is the road, and have your new driver drive to the end of the lane and come to a stop. Next have them drive through the lot pretending that all the parking spaces are full-stay off of the lines and drive slowly.
  • When you feel the rookie driver has improved on these skills start having them use their turn signals for every “make believe” turn on the lot. Explain the mirrors (side and rear view) and use. Impress on the new driver how using the signals and mirrors have to become a habit and how important both are in driving in all kinds of conditions.
  • Have the new driver come to a stop, put on the turn signal, look both ways, and turn. That way, he/she can begin to see how much steering it takes to negotiate the corner. Once you feel they are getting the hang of this, have your new driver try backing up and keep practicing this skill.
  • Following these parking lot sessions, you can eventually venture out to a “little” traveled residential area or around White Marsh Mall in the very early hours (7 am or 8 am on Saturday or Sunday mornings). Just going around and around the mall when it is empty with traffic. This is a very helpful task for the new driver. While there they can practice turns, traffic controls, signals, lane control and speed control. Then you are ready to travel on country roads, preferably one with little oncoming traffic. Gradually work you way up to the busier roads, but do not rush it.
  • Once on the road, your young driver is going to face a complicated set of rules and variables. Traffic situations that you take for granted are going to leave the beginner driver flustered and frustrated. How you respond can make a big difference in developing a confident, accident-free driver.

Some hints to bear in mind:

- Planning, patience and a positive attitude. Repeat these words to yourself before heading out on the road and be sure to follow them. Plan specific skills you want your new driver to work on before each session, be patient as he makes mistakes and learns from them, and maintain a positive attitude in the car. Perhaps in the beginning limit your driving sessions to an hour or less.

- People’s learning curves are a lot different. Someone who learns a lot slower or doesn’t have as much natural ability can still be as successful as someone with a lot of natural ability. They just might take a little longer to learn. Positive reinforcement is so important. People have a tendency to push young drivers too hard, too fast. Remember to put them in a situation that doesn’t put them at risk from a confidence level. Of course the new driver is going to make mistakes. The key here is how you help them learn from those mistakes. Remember, you’re trying to build confidence. Yelling that they’re going to kill you isn’t exactly going to help! Rather than say you did this wrong or that wrong, try saying, Well, that was all right, but let’s try something different in that situation.

- Beyond this type of training, it is best to leave it up to our professional instructors. After the six hours with us, you will see how improved your rookie driver will become and then keep working on the skills your new driver has progressed to. Remember a rookie driver must log a minimum of 60 hours of practice driving in the Maryland Skills Log and Practice Guide provided to you by the MVA at the time of getting the new driver his learner’s permit. The mentor must be a qualified licensed driver (someone who has at least 3 years experienced and is at least 21 years of age). The new driver must have the learners permit a minimum of 9 months before going to take their driving test. Also, consider getting a rookie sticker for the new driver. More information can by found by clicking here

Want to learn more about auto safety for your teen? Check out this site:
Teaching Teens About Auto Safety