What does a Driving Instructor do?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 June 2019
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A driving instructor teaches people how to safely operate motor vehicles. He or she often combines classroom instruction with driving simulators and practical, on-the-road training to help people learn motor vehicle laws, courtesy, and awareness. Most driving instructors are employed by accredited private driver training schools, though some professionals may be employed by public school systems or operate their own businesses. In addition, some driving instructors receive specialized training to work at truck driving schools or racing academies.

Most people who seek the services of driving instructors are teenagers or young adults seeking their first driver's licenses. A knowledgeable instructor teaches such individuals the basics of driving through classroom work, covering topics such as safety, laws and regulations, emergency procedures, and driving awareness. He or she often supplements classroom lectures with written exams to test students' comprehension of material.

Once students have passed classroom requirements, the instructor often allows them to practice their skills on the road in specialized vehicles. A driving instructor usually begins a road test behind the wheel, showing students the proper way to adjust mirrors and seats, start the car, and begin driving. After demonstrating the basics, he or she typically plans out a route and allows a new driver to take the wheel. Many driver training cars are equipped with an additional set of pedals on the passenger side, so that an instructor can perform immediate emergency braking or acceleration if a student happens to make a mistake.


During road tests, the instructor might provide detailed instruction, evaluate and record a student's performance, and offer suggestions and advice. When a student successfully completes a practical road test, the instructor can award him or her with a certificate of completion. The student then becomes eligible to take further exams administered by local motor vehicle departments to obtain their licenses.

An individual must meet several training and certification requirements to become a driving instructor. Specific requirements vary between countries and states, though most localities require a prospective driving instructor to have an unrestricted driver's license and a clean driving record. Individuals typically attend accredited driving instructor training programs and schools to master their own driving ability and learn how to teach and evaluate students. Upon the successful completion of a training program, an individual can take a licensing test administered by his or her state or country to become a certified instructor. Some jurisdictions require driving instructors to take periodical exams or refresher courses to maintain their teaching licenses.


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Post 5

Thanks for all the great advice. I'm going to be going to driving school and really want to impress the instructor.

Post 4

Its funny, I had a good friend that was a driving instructor and from what I hear a pretty good one. But when he was behind the wheel he was a terrible driver. I do not mean that he made a lot of mistakes but he was really aggressive and reckless.

He was the kind of guy that would speed up from way back to make yellow lights, weave through traffic on the highways, blast out of intersections when the light turned green and tailgate drivers who would not let him pass. Basically he did everything he taught his students not to do. Its a wonder that he never managed to put himself out of business.

Post 3

One of my high school friends started his own driving instructor schools. This is a great alternative to the summer programs, as it gives kids the chance to take this course all throughout the year.

Most of his programs are also accelerated courses, so it doesn't take as long to get through.

Our state requires each student get a certain number of hours of classroom training and a specific number of hours behind the wheel.

Personally I think they should be required to have more driving hours than they do. I also don't think it should be the sole responsibility of the approved driving instructor to be the only person to give this training.

I think it is just as important for the parents to spend time in the car with their kids. When my kids start driving on their own, I don't want to wonder if they really know what they are doing.

Post 2

I distinctly remember by high school drivers education instructor. We always had drivers ed in the summer. Even though it was frustrating this took up most of the summer, we all wanted to get our license so didn't want to miss the class.

I don't know what all is involved in becoming a driving instructor, but don't think I would have wanted his job. Even with the brake that was installed on the passenger side of the car, we had some close calls!

Nobody in our group was very good at parallel parking, and he made us do it over and over again until we got the hang of it.

I also remember this instructor because he

never gave anybody a grade higher than a C. No matter how well you did in the class, he said nobody was an above average driver.

At the time I didn't agree with him, but looking back now, I can see why most teenagers would not be considered above average drivers.

Post 1

We live close to a community college that has a driving instructor school for truckers. If someone passes this course, they have passed all the qualifications to become a trucker.

It is not uncommon to see them in large parking lots or out of the way places when learning. This is especially helpful when we have snow and ice. You will always see two people in the truck - the driving instructor and the student.

They need to know how to drive confidently in all kinds of weather and getting practice behind the wheel before that happens is crucial.

I think learning how to drive the trucks during slick weather conditions and making the wide turns, are the

two things they really have to work at. Just reading about how to do it in a book is nothing like actually doing it.

I don't think I would ever feel comfortable driving a big truck like that. I can see why it is so important they complete a driving course like that. I am sure the driving school instructors have been in all kinds of driving weather and situations.

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