THE SEMINOLE NEWSPAPER

DRIVER’S ED CAUSES CONFLICT

Two+students+in+a+Driver%27s+Ed+car+can+be+a+recipe+for+stress.+
Two students in a Driver's Ed car can be a recipe for stress.

Two students in a Driver's Ed car can be a recipe for stress.

Kierstin Phillips

Kierstin Phillips

Two students in a Driver's Ed car can be a recipe for stress.

Shafana Mohammad, Reporter

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Teenagers are eager to start driving, but before they can begin, they are strongly advised to take a Driver’s Ed course. Throughout this course, there are times when a student is driving and their peers are in the car with them. This method has sparked controversy among students; therefore, because of risks, students should not be allowed in the vehicle.

The Driver’s Ed course can be taken online, but taking it in person and getting practice on the road can be more effective for some students. In the in-person class, students get a crash course on traffic and road rules, safe driving habits, and how to safely operate a motor vehicle. Students also learn tips on driving in poor weather conditions and how to safely share the road with other drivers. A key part of the experience is keeping multiple students in a vehicle so that students can learn from their classmates and to make it more efficient for the instructors. Students are able to observe how their partners drive and implement those skills into their own driving or learn from their mistakes.

Sharon Swalina, a Driver’s Ed instructor, said “I believe it is very beneficial for a beginning driver to be in a car with both an instructor and other beginning students. It allows the spectator students to learn from and avoid the mistakes others make.”

While some recognize the benefits of learning from their peers, others think that having their classmates in the vehicle with them can be unnecessarily nerve-wracking because it places stress on the driver and can be unsafe for the passenger.

The Seminole Newspaper polled 50 students on their opinion regarding other students present in the car with the driver and instructor. The results showed that 80 percent of students believed that there should not be other people in the car, whereas only 20 percent of the students surveyed said that it could be beneficial if there were other students in the vehicle.

Junior Ashlena Gandharry, a student in the Driver’s Ed course at Seminole High, said, “There are times when you’re with a completely inexperienced driver who doesn’t know what they’re doing and it can definitely be scary.”

Learning to drive should be a fun and safe experience for everyone. This means ensuring that every student feels comfortable behind the wheel, without any unnecessary added pressures. Despite the inarguable benefits to the current system, it is evident that Seminole students would feel much more comfortable driving only with an instructor. For the safety and comfort of all Driver’s Ed students, students should not be allowed in the car. 

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