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The Evolution of Driving

Cars are part of the fabric of everyday modern life both in major cities and rural neighborhoods. With the help of modern vehicles, we can commute miles for a job, visit many businesses quickly while running errands, or travel across the country with little preparation. Car design has evolved to get where it is today, and drivers have had to adapt to the changes. Our teen driving school offers driver education courses that have kept pace with these changes to prepare new drivers to hit the road. 

Vehicles have continued to change in response to societal growth, and as a result, driving habits and rules have changed. If you are considering enrolling in a 911 Driving School course, familiarize yourself with the evolution of driving to get a head start on your lessons.

Humble Beginnings

Two of the earliest names in automobile history remain among today’s most influential: Benz and Porsche. Credited as the first automobile in 1886, the three-wheeled Motorwagen was patented by German engineer Carl Benz. Benz would collaborate with another early automobile pioneer to create Mercedes-Benz. Less than 20 years later, Ferdinand Porsche debuted a more familiar four-wheeled design. Shortly after, production began on the first designs of old-fashioned automobiles we now recognize from historical movies and TV.

During this time, automobile production was a slow, costly process. In some ways, these early automobiles were more complex for drivers than modern vehicles. Early cars had to have their engines cranked by hand to start them. With the invention of windshield wipers still years away, drivers had to clear their view by reaching over the windshield with a brush, or sticking their heads out of the window to see, exposing themselves to the weather. These early vehicles were few in number and quite expensive. The cost and rarity made them grand luxuries, but that was soon to change.

Mass Production

In 1913, Henry Ford’s moving assembly line revolutionized the automobile industry. A car that once took nearly a day to build could be assembled in just over 90 minutes. Cars became accessible to the general public, and with them, the need for new laws governing the use of public roads. Over the next 20 years, over 15 million new Ford Model T’s were made and sold in America. The rise in popularity of the bicycle in the previous century had somewhat prepared urban areas for the modern roads that cars would need. A steady rollout by the federal government of modernized city streets culminated in the Interstate Highway Act of 1956, connecting the nation by car.

Introducing Driver’s Education

With a wealth of new cars and new laws to manage them, the public needed instruction on driving. It was 1920 when driver’s education was first introduced in secondary and high schools. At the time, it was integrated with the larger curriculum. A decade later, textbooks for instructing new and future drivers, such as “Man and the Motorcar,” were seeing nationwide adoption in these school programs.

As car designs improved and became safer, faster, and more reliable, new tools were made to train drivers. In the 40s, driver’s education classes used training devices similar to carnival bumper cars. This gave learning drivers experience with operating a vehicle before using anything with an engine.

School programs also built small ranges for practice driving. Students could learn to drive on these courses in a real car, but in a controlled environment. These ranges featured examples of the various turns and merges the learning drivers would be expected to know. The courses could be run one at a time or allow multiple drivers to practice handling interaction on the road.

Car manufacturers adopted automatic windshield wipers, electric starters, seatbelts, and airbags during this time. These innovations made cars safer and, in some cases, made them simpler to operate. New drivers no longer had to learn how to crank start their cars or risk injury from doing so. Navigation features like turn indicators let people signal without taking their hands off the wheel.

Enroll in Teen Driving School Today

Driving is still evolving today. Electric vehicles are gaining popularity, and some vehicles that can drive and navigate automatically are publicly available. Some modern cars still use features like a manual transmission that require extra training. The need for driver’s education remains high as ever as we learn to share the road with new and varied vehicles.

Driving is regulated based on the type of vehicle; motorcycles, cars, and large trucks each have different education requirements to operate. For most citizens, driver’s education for cars is enough. Professional training courses like ours at 911 Driving School can help new drivers gain the experience and instruction they need. If you are looking for a teen driving school, we have a course for you.

With staff drawn from former emergency responders, 911 Driving School’s instructors are highly qualified. Our instructors can prepare students to drive safely in many conditions, and their up-to-date training on traffic laws and regulations makes them uniquely equipped to give accurate instruction. We also help you to prepare for driver’s tests online using practice tests based on the laws in your home state. Visit our homepage to learn more and begin your driving journey today.

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