Are teens in Idaho driver's ed programs headed for trouble? 

A recent study suggests they could be. After mulling over the factors that rank Idaho driver's ed at 31 out of 47 states, we've started wondering what they're not teaching our teens.   

Murph Squad Documentary // YouTube
Murph Squad Documentary // YouTube
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So, what aren't they teaching Idaho's drivers-in-training?

Just last night, our buddy Steve told my husband and me that his 16-year-old daughter wasn't taught how to make a left hand turn between arrows. Unfortunately for Steve, he didn't find out until his daughter was behind the wheel of his truck on a trip from Boise to Cascade, at a busy intersection of all places.

By that point, his daughter had already taken and passed Idaho's driver's license exam. It never occurred to him that the curriculum would exclude a concept as important as the right-of-way. But it did.

Is Idaho dropping right of way from its driver's ed curriculum, or was this a one-off situation? Even if it was an exception to the rule, it's disturbing to think an entire class of driver's ed students weren't taught a fundamental driving concept.

DGN Driving // YouTube
DGN Driving // YouTube
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Take notes, Idaho driver's ed schools. 

Unlike Idaho, the study shows states with higher-ranking driver's ed programs frequently utilize proactive measures in their curriculum. They extend beyond texts, online learning, and written exams. They're also led by experienced driving instructors who know how to reach and teach young drivers with a more hands-on perspective.  

From stricter supervision protocols to more advanced educational tools that simulate real-world scenarios and how to handle emergencies behind the wheel, these states are setting a solid pace for learner safety. They also require parents and guardians to be highly involved throughout their teen's driver's ed journey. 

Diablo Formula Racing // YouTube
Diablo Formula Racing // YouTube
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Idaho parents are role models. 

We can cite all the surveys we want, but ultimately, Idaho's driver's ed curriculum is out of our hands. That's where we as parents can step in to make a massive difference in our teen's early driving habits. 

Show your teens how to drive defensively! One source says it starts with teaching them to assume all drivers around them are inexperienced with zero regard for anyone else's safety. Ensuring their safety from point A to point B is on them, period. 

While you're at it, drill it into their brain to put their phone away! And don't be afraid to scare the lesson into them with the fact that teens have a 400% higher chance of getting into a car crash when texting and driving. 

Last, quiz them! And constantly! Model how they should react in emergency situations—everything from hat to do, who to call, and how to talk to first responders and local law enforcement. If it starts to annoy your teen, we suggest Googling "Idaho teens killed in crashes" with them to enlighten their perspective.  

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Is it too late for Idaho driving schools?

Today's Idaho teens will get better and better behind the wheel the more they practice and the more their parents help them shape safer driving habits.

Idaho may have found itself in the crosshairs of concern, but that doesn't mean all is lost. It also doesn't mean there aren't any great driving schools in the Boise area. Unfortunately for them, it's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.

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