Learn & Drive

Students attend Driver’s Education gaining hands-on experience and knowledge in the classroom


Sophomore Mary Fusca drives on the range, and practices checking her rearview mirrors. When driving on the road, it’s vital to always check the rear-view mirror every three to five seconds.

Sarah Dreyer, Staff Reporter

It was Monday morning and Sophomore Drew Baltz woke up knowing that he would have to ride his bike for six and a half miles from his home in Chuluota to Oviedo High School. Although a long bike ride, Baltz finds it worthwhile because of how helpful Driver’s Education is, and how it has improved his driving.

From driving in a parking lot full of obstacles to learning the rules of the road, Driver’s Education helps students to gain confidence and teaches defensive maneuvers.

Baltz and his dad agreed that he should take Driver’s Education to improve his driving however, his dad, having to work throughout the day, could not take Baltz to summer school. Having no ride to the class, Baltz decided to ride six and half miles to Oviedo High School on bike.

Sophomore Alexis O’Brien and her mom also agreed with her taking this course to learn the basics of driving

“I took this course for two reasons,” O’Brien said. “One, because my mom wanted me to take it and two, because there are things I should learn that my parents can’t teach me.”

Before Driver’s Education, O’Brien did not know some techniques that are essential for driving such as checking her blind spots before changing lanes. Before taking the class, a car almost hit her because she did not check her blind spots, however, after multiple lessons and more practice, she learned the importance of the skill and has always checked her blind spots ever since.

According to Teen Driver Source, 75 percent of teen crashes are due to ‘critical errors,’ such as checking blind spots, going too fast for road conditions or being distracted. In O’Brien’s case, taking Driver’s Education saved her from being a part of that percentage.

Kevin Wainscott, who has been a driving instructor for six years, believes this course is vital to students who want to better improve their driving skills because of how car collisions are the number one leading cause of death in teens according to “LiveStrong.com.”

“Driving is a skill that they will use for the rest of their lives,” Wainscott said. “Knowing how to drive is important since they will be on the road with my family one day.

Sophomore Flavio Teimouri is one of the many students who has gained confidence from taking Driver’s Education and who believes this course is beneficial to all since students get hands on experience on the road.

“It gives me a more real world experience because it’s not on the range with cones,” Teimouri said. “You get to experience cars and it’s a bonus because the instructors take you places.”

There were also a few students whose parents signed them up for Driver’s Education, but over a period of time realized how much knowledge they have gained in the course.

“I’ve learned a lot more than driving with my parents,” Sophomore Amaia Dixon said. “This course has taught me to be more independent with driving, because on the range, there’s no teacher in the car next to you.”

Danya Harris, a four-year driving instructor, believes after experiencing the class back in high school that this course for teenagers is beneficial because of their “know-it-all” behavior.

“[Students] look at it as ‘I know what I’m doing, I can do that, someone doesn’t have to teach me how to drive,” Harris said. “Any students come into the class thinking they know it all until they get behind the wheel and realize the things they should and shouldn’t be doing.”

Taking Driver’s Education may help students gain confidence or improve in their performance on the road however, maturity plays a key role in driving. Parents are also responsible for making sure students drive the number of hours necessary to get a license, and allowing students to practice.

“This course can’t make you a great driver, but it can get you started,” O’Brien said.