For teens, Texas driver’s education classes are required to consist
of at least 32 hours of classroom instruction, 7 hours of in-car
observation, and 7 hours of driving practice. Students must make up any
missed classes before the school can issue a certificate of completion.
Driving simulators can be substituted for some of the in-car
instruction requirement, but driving schools must devote at least four
hours of the course to actual in-car instruction. Texas driving schools
can divide up these time requirements into one of two formats: block
format, in which the 32 hours of classroom time are completed before
any in-car instruction can take place, or concurrent classes, in which
part of each day is spent in the classroom and part of the day is spent
in the car.
The state requires Texas driving schools for teens to enter into a
contract with the student's parent or guardian. The contract
provides information about the length and content of lessons provided
during the course, acceptable conduct during the course, payment terms
and also how long a student has to make up missed course sections
before he or she loses credit. It's important to read the contract
carefully so that you are aware of what the driving school's policies
are in case of a dispute.
Each Texas driving school's curriculum must be approved by the Texas
State Education Association, and it must promote the following
Promoting respect for and encouraging observance of traffic laws and
traffic safety responsibilities of driver education and citizens;
reducing traffic violations; reducing traffic-related injuries, deaths,
and economic losses; and motivating development of traffic-related
competencies through education, including, but not limited to, Texas
traffic laws, risk management, driver attitudes, courtesy skills, and
evasive driving techniques (Texas Education Code §176.1007).
In addition to providing students with the above information and
skills, Texas driver's ed courses are also required to provide
information on litter, organ donation, drunk driving, and the hazards
of leaving small children alone in a car on a hot Texas day. Basically,
all Texas driver’s ed courses cover the same topics, but the
presentation of the material can vary widely from course to course.
Periodically, instructors administer quizzes and tests to keep track of
Most classes also show some instructional videos. Audiovisual material
can be any material that furthers the educational objectives of the
course-gory "scare 'em straight" videos are not required by law, but
are often shown to give teenagers a better understanding of the serious
consequences that poor driving decisions can have. If you are a parent
and you don't want your child exposed to graphic depictions of highway
accidents, you should check with the course provider before you sign
your child up.