Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – Driving Home Driver’s Education

Name: Sean Mingus
From: Mechanicsburg, PA
Grade: College Freshman
School: University of Pittsburgh
Votes: 0

Driving
Home Driver’s Education

Creeeak

THUNK!

Vrooom…

Those
are noises many young adults of the modern world know all too well.
Perhaps the most anticipated milestone of a young adult’s childhood
is the moment upon which he or she is able to obtain his or her
driver’s license, the first mark of increased independence and
self-reliability. It is not without caution, however, that one should
sit behind the wheel for the first time.

In
many states, a mandatory driver’s education course is instructed to
students within their high schools. Such a class is necessary to
instruct future drivers of proper etiquette while operating a
vehicle, such as the correct following distance, the correct
orientation of the side and rear view mirrors, and the proper
interpretation of many road signs.

However,
not unlike other lecture-style classes, any driver’s education course
may easily transition from a useful course into a course focused on
filling time within a school day. Crucial components of lessons
taught in the course may be lost on certain students, who may
eventually find a need for those certain lessons, resulting in a bad
situation. One method of alleviating this problem may be the
integration of active interaction and open discussion within
classrooms.

My
driver’s education course during my sophomore year began to grow dull
and the material was becoming frustratingly difficult to commit to
memory until we started going outside to the instructor’s car to
observe and discuss different functions of various parts of the
vehicle. Such a simple shift in the classroom dynamic enabled myself
and many other students to physically interact with the lessons,
which resulted in more longer-term learning. The introduction of
similar styles of teaching would more than likely do students a great
service and serve to protect them by allowing them to remember
crucial lessons in times of need.

To
prove this point, all one needs to observe is the high volume of cell
phones behind the wheel in heavily student-populated areas. In fact,
when I ride in a new friend’s car, more often than not the driver
checks his or her phone a couple times when he or she believes it is
“safe” to do so; but this very thought represents the lack of
long-term memory of course material of driver’s education courses, in
which the concept that distracting oneself while driving completely
disengages one’s focus from driving onto whatever task is on the
phone. Any unexpected circumstance that occurs on the road will
invariably be noticed late by the driver and result in a very
dangerous situation for all the passengers in the car.

Driver’s
education courses hold the very large responsibility of educating
future drivers how to safely operate vehicles, and extra care needs
to be taken to ensure that the potentially life-saving material
taught within these classes is memorable for students. After all, one
mistake can catastrophically, irreversibly transform multiple
families within just seconds.


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