Hi, I’m Kevin Knapp, co-owner of Virtual Drive Driver Education.  My wife Eliza and I have been working with first time drivers through our online driver education course for over 10 years now.  As parents, Eliza and I have now taught 4 teens to drive.  I know, we deserve a medal.

Luckily we had the assistance of our online course for 3 of them, but my first daughter, who is now 27 and the inspiration for Virtual Drive, didn’t have the advantage of taking our course, it wasn’t developed back then.

Here is a little story that illustrates the difference between the novice driver and the experienced driver.  I’m sure she won’t mind me sharing this story.  After all, it was 10 years ago.

Shelby took driver education from a local driving school.  When she turned 16 and became eligible to get her license, I took her down to the DPS and we got her license.  She actually did pretty well on her driving test. We got her a really cool Jeep Cherokee for her 16th birthday and she was set.  After going through all the rules that we expected her to abide by, we let her go out on her own to conquer the world.

All went pretty well until the 13th day of having her license.  I got a call from my frantic little girl; she had been in an accident.  She had her music up too loud, didn’t hear a siren from a fire truck and when other people stopped to allow the fire truck the right of way at an intersection, she didn’t and she ran into the vehicle in front of her.   She wasn’t hurt, nor was anyone in the other vehicle but she was really shaken up.  She was lucky.

Her mother and I met her at the accident site.  After dealing with the accident, which included the issuance of a  citation.  We all decided to head to the house and discuss the entire situation.  We were in three cars, her mother in front, her in the middle and me behind.  As we entered an area that required a yield, her mother obeyed the sign but Shelby ignored it and ran right in the back of her mother.  By the way, I yielded.

So, within an hour, my brand new 16-year old driver had racked up a total of two rear end collisions.  This is a perfect example of a novice driver versus an experienced driver.  Shelby was distracted by her music for the first accident and then distracted by her emotions for the second accident.

As a first time driver you will be entering in to a very important role as a citizen of the state of Texas.  A driver on the Texas Highway Transportation System must be a knowledgeable and responsible driver.

By taking a course like Virtual Drive you will learn the basic information on driving safety, legal responsibilities and rules of the road.  These are all important items as you strive to become a responsible reduce-risk driver.   Remember, in the state of Texas, driving is a privilege and the driver assumes responsibilities, obligations, and potential consequences for their driving actions.

Research has indicated that hazard detection skills and abilities are less developed among novice drivers compared with experienced adult drivers.  Novices tend to miss some relevant cues and may be less able to process important elements in the environment while driving. It was determined that novices would have lower hazard detection skills and will react less appropriately to hazards than older and more experienced drivers.

Results indicate that the adult drivers observed hazards and demonstrated overt recognition of hazards more frequently than the novice drivers. Results also indicated that a large portion of novice drivers failed to disengage from peripheral task engagement in the presence of hazards.

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