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Safeway’s 30 hours of classroom driving education focuses on defensive driving skills, good decision making and Minnesota laws.
Lesson #1 – Intro to Driving. Students learn that driving is a privilege that carries serious responsibilities. Introduced to a driving strategy system known as SIPDE (Scan, Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute).
Lesson #2 – Signs, Lines & Road Markings. Students learn how to identify the three different categories of signs by both their shape and color. Students learn how line color and position direct their driving.
Lesson #3 – Basic Vehicle Maneuvers. Students are taught how to calculate a 3-second following distance. Basic speed laws, parking maneuvers, and seatbelt safety is discussed. Students learn “SMOG” when making a lane change, which stands for putting on your turn Signal, check your Mirrors, look Over your shoulder (blind spot), then Go.
Lesson #4 – Intersections & Freeways. Controlled multi-lane intersections, protected green arrows and the new flashing yellow arrow are covered. Merging onto a freeway takes both decisiveness and some basic skills. We teach “Gap, Gauge, Go”: As your car goes down the entrance ramp, look for a gap in traffic, gauge the speed you need to maintain to make that gap stand still, then smoothly go into the gap. We also cover the basic Twin Cities road system.
Lesson #5 – Distractions & Driver Condition. This lesson covers distracted driving and driving while fatigued. Students learn that they are responsible for their own mental attitude and physical condition. We discuss the social, physical and personal deadly outcomes of aggressive driving and road rage. We discuss strategies to avoid and how to stay safe in a road rage situation.
Lesson #6 – Adverse Conditions & Emergencies. Students are taught how to drive in rain, snow, sleet, fog, smoke, mountains, as well as night driving. We also cover the difference between ABS and regular brakes. Emergency situations like going through the ice, being stuck in the snow and skidding are discussed.
Lesson #7 – Sharing the Road. Students learn that “right-of-way” is a privilege granted by other drivers. It is not something you automatically have. The differences between merging and yielding are strongly emphasized. Controlled and uncontrolled intersections are discussed along with railroad, large vehicle, bus and motorcycle safety.
Lesson #8 – Maintenance, Insurance & Crashes. Students learn basic car maintenance tips and what to do in common automotive breakdowns. Students are taught the basic terminology of car insurance. Good grades are emphasized as a way to keep insurance costs down. This class also covers what to do if the student is involved in a crash. Organ donation information, as mandated by the State, is provided in this lesson.
Lesson #9 – Drinking, Drugs & Driving. Students learn the physical effects of alcohol and drugs (both over-the-counter and illegal) and how driving skills can be impaired. The legal and financial consequences driving while impaired are discussed. Safeway stresses good decision making skills as well as strategies for how to handle situations when drugs or alcohol are present when cars are in use.
Lesson #10 – Review. This lesson reviews each of the previous lessons and includes an extensive practice test. Actual licensing procedures and identification requirements are discussed. Defensive driving tactics are also reinforced.