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Driving School Owners and Instructors

History

The need for instructors to teach people how to drive has existed for as long as there have been cars on the road. But it was not until the 1930s that formal driver education courses were created. Early traffic safety lessons were incorporated with general safety classes or taught as a separate class in a classroom setting (with no actual on-the-road training).

In 1932, Amos Neyhart, a professor at Pennsylvania State College High School, taught the first driving instruction course that included both classroom and behind-the-wheel modules. By 1940, more than 20 states offered driving instruction courses, and several hundred high schools began teaching driver education.

In 1947, 200,000 students were enrolled in driver education programs at 3,000 public high schools across the United States, according to "Teen Driver Education," by Dr. Richard Compton of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). By 1976, the number had increased to 3.2 million students at 17,000 public high schools.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the number of students taking driver education classes at public schools declined due to questions regarding their effectiveness and their removal from a list of priority programs by the NHTSA. This decline created many opportunities for private driving instructors, and many new driving instruction schools opened in the following decades.

Today, driving schools and programs at public high schools continue to help people became safe and decisive drivers.