How to choose a driving school for your teen

ydDriving is one of the most enjoyable activities you will experience. But it is without a doubt one of the most dangerous, as well. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for Canadians under the age of 25. “You only learn to drive once,” says Peter Christianson, president of Young Drivers of Canada. “You might as well do it right the first time.”

If your teen is ready to drive, shop around for a high-quality driver training program.

Here are some considerations when choosing a driving school:

  • MTO-approved.Ensure the driving school program is approved by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario.
  • Defensive Driving Techniques:Look for a driving school that will teach defensive driving techniques that will help avoid every single type of collision. A good school teaches collision avoidance skills which enable drivers to detect potentially hazardous situations.
  • Instructor Certification:Find out if the school’s instructors have taken an annual recertification to maintain their level of skill.
  • Private in-vehicle classes:Consider a school that offers private in-vehicle training, where there is only one student with the instructor at all times.
  • Emergency Maneuvers:Check if the driving school teaches life saving techniques, such as rear crash avoidance, emergency braking, emergency swerving techniques, and head-on collision avoidance. These should be practiced in vehicles, not just discussed in class.
  • Learn at your own pace:Everyone learns differently. Knowing this, Young Drivers of Canada has launched YD e-Experience, a new, interactive online training session that allows novice drivers to learn at their own pace from their home computer. The 10-hour online training features interactive videos, 3-D animations, photos, graphics and voice-over narrative.

YD e-Experience is part of the YD Novice Driving course, which is a ministry-approved beginner driver education (BDE) course. The other course components consist of 20 hours of in-class instruction that includes state-of-the-art HD video footage and 10 hours of private in-car training with only one student in the vehicle with the instructor.

You can test-drive YD e-Experience for free online at