Why we don't simply teach the DMV route

Why we don't simply teach the DMV route

Written by Brad McDermott on April 21, 2015

Passing the DMV test seems to be what everyone wants.  It is true that one cannot drive alone in California without eventually passing some form of the DMV Test.  I know we all agree that we must rise above simply passing a simple test.  The evidence is plain to see as many people with a driver's license that don't necessarily drive well.  

Many driving schools will take their students on the DMV routes.  I have done this at times in the past.  There is certainly value in knowing what to expect on the test.  The problem with doing this is that, as a driving instructor, the State of California tells us not to do it.  If there were no other reason, then following this simple rule, it would be important to honor the process and stay off the DMV routes.  This will helps to set an example as we are teaching the students to follow rules. 

Observing the rules is only part of the reason I'm now so admit about staying off the planned routes of the DMV.  Over that past couple of years I enjoy the privilege to work with people who are often "re-learning" to drive.  These are people who once had a driver's license, but have experience a injury that requires them to have take a new driving test.  Many of these students experienced strokes or other traumas and are now working to see if they can safely drive.  If these folks are unable to learn to work in the highly demanding and dynamic world of operating the motor vehicle, then we teach them a more controlled and known environment.

Examples of the areas that the challenged driver must learn are more or less from their homes to the pharmacy, home to one  or two stores, and to and from their doctor's office.  This allows them to do minimal driving in familiar areas in order to keep them and others as safe as possible.  

If I were to teach the students the DMV route, I'd be doing them a dis-service and handicapping them as drivers.  We all want more for our students.  We make it a point to teach all the skills necessary that will be required on the test.  We also give practice tests that require the students to do very similar things that will be asked of them on their road exam.  However, when the student passes the test, we want to reduce all doubt that they "just got lucky."  We want them to know they applied what they learned and experience the confidence and joy that they accomplished a significant stage of growing up. 

The kids we met on the first lesson, are now licensed young adults who are now joining the rest of us as responsible drivers who passed their DMV test!  

 

Why we don't simply teach the DMV route

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