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  Frequently Asked Questions:

Here’s the answer to the question you won’t even think to ask … so I’m just going to start with this one: “What’s the biggest benefit of attending the Workshops?”
Yes, we reduce crash rates by more than 75%, and yes, it saves families a boatload on insurance, and you can read all about those things below. But the BIGGEST takeaway from this program, BAR-NONE, … is the fact that by the end of the Workshops, YOU are going to able to talk to your kid about driving again WITHOUT getting the “attitude”! This program builds trust, removes communication barriers, erases attitudes, builds competence (and in-turn, confidence) strengthens relationships within families and provides the tools the family will need to navigate through the entire “learning to drive” process. THIS IS EXACTLY what you need during this “my kid is hard to talk to because they think they know everything” phase. And no … I don’t expect you to believe me because you think I’m trying to “sell” you something … ask a former customer. Just call whoever the former customer was who told you about us, and ask them. They will confirm this for you.

Does this program count towards a state’s “driver’s ed” requirements?
We agree the state sends mixed and confusing messages on this subject, but we’re happy to help. On the heels of the research showing no statistical relevance in reducing crash rates, GA, TN and many other states longer require “driver’s ed”. We’re happy to help you understand the new requirements. Here’s the facts you need to know:

~ Level 5* Basic Vehicle Operation (aka “driver’s ed”: all training done in Normal Driving Conditions) is not required. In TN, not at all, and in GA, one can wait until age 17, and still forego it.
~ If one wants to drive before they’re 17, they must complete a Level 5 program, consisting of 76 hours of training:
     30 hours of Department of Driver Services classroom instruction
     6 hours of behind the wheel supervised by a DDS “instructor”
     40 hours of behind the wheel, supervised by a parent.
~ The Accident Avoidance Workshops is a Nationally-Certified, Level 10* program (training in Emergency Driving Conditions), and covers the advanced material and topics/concepts/techniques the state cannot as they lack the training and certification to do so. As I suspect you understand, no 8 hour program will satisfy a 76-hour requirement.
~ All 8 of the hours spent in the Accident Avoidance Workshops do apply towards the 40 “parent-supervised” segment.
~ Upon completion we will send you dozens of additional exercises, each which address critical areas of new driver development, none of which are offered from a Level 5* “driver’s ed” program. These can be used to complete the 40-hour requirement with relevant, applicable skill-development exercises as opposed to just riding around town.

So to recap, if your goal is to just meet the absolute minimum requirements:
~ If they’re under 17: Any DDS-operated “driver’s ed” program will do.
~ If they’re over 17: No training required.

* - The NDDI has put together a very comprehensive website designed to help families understand the differences in driver training programs. http://www.nationaldefensivedrivinginstitute.org/drivertraining.html
And if you select the “Instructor Certification Requirements” tab at the top, it will help you understand the required training levels as well.
Our Chief Instructor carries a Master’s Level and our Lead Instructor a Bachelor’s.

When is the best time to take the Workshops?
The best time to attend the Accident Avoidance Workshops is once thy have their learner’s permit, and you’ve spent the equivalent of 5-6 hours with them in an empty parking lot. They need only have basic control of the vehicle. Bad habits typically start setting in at the 30 day mark, so if you wait too long, it becomes more and more difficult for them to shed bad habits and replace them with new ones. So yes, we want them before they get any bad habits … CERTAINLY before you even THINK about letting them drive on PUBLIC ROADS. Logic implies we prefer to train them how to handle an emergency before you go subjecting them to that very real possibility. It’s the old “Give them the gun safety course, and THEN hand them the weapon!” mindset.

My student is already 18 or older … is it too late?
Certainly not. But the “it won’t happen to me” syndrome plagues many families. Having rolled the dice for a few years and gotten away with it doesn’t prepare them for a crash situation … training does. Although it will be harder to break bad habits, obviously, the sooner you can reduce the amount of time they spend on the roads without that training, the better. Otherwise, they remain in the 98.5% of the driving population who has less than 10 minutes of formal training with respect to handling emergencies. We’ve trained habitual speeders, court-appointed first-offenders and 70 year old blue-haired ladies. It’s never too late.

Does my student need this training?
Since parents are responsible for their students until they’re 18, this is entirely up to the parents. If you only want your student to achieve the absolute minimum requirements with respect to training them in the area most likely to take their lives, … no … you don’t need this. Chances are though … if you’re reading this … that doesn’t describe you. More than likely, those who are reading this are the kind who want to know they did everything they could to prepare their kids for today’s roads, so the answer for YOU is “definitely”.

Is there an insurance benefit for taking this? Or, are there any financial benefits for completing this program?
Although most people enroll because of all of the other reasons, saving on insurance is a side benefit too. The answer is yes. In GA, for example, insurance companies are required by law to give discounts for this program even to parents who complete the program. Some TN-based insurance companies try to tell people they cannot give discounts, and yet we have several TN customers who have received discounts. Honestly, just what you learn from the “Insurance” section of this program can pay for the program several times over. It is not uncommon for a family to reduce their insurance rates by $500 to $1500 a year, and of course, the discount continues for 3 years. One parent said it best: “There are those who CAN afford this program, and then there are those who can’t afford NOT to take this program.” Also, if you really think about it, considering you most likely have a $1,000 deductible, even if your student only learns ONE thing from this program that prevents ONE crash … hasn’t the class paid for itself already 3 times over?

I filled out a request for a schedule, and it says: “It appears you are already a subscriber of our mailing list. Why?”:
Because you’ve already done it. It just means your e-mail address IS ALREADY RECEIVING the schedule.
If you’re not getting it, it’s for one of two reasons:
1)- It’s going to your junk mail, or
2)- Your computer is set up to block e-mails from the address which is sending you the schedule.
The fix: Either:
1)- Set us up as a safe sender, so future e-mails don’t get blocked or sent to junk mail, or
2)- Input a different e-mail address which will receive the e-mails we send to you.