Behind the Wheel Instruction for Teens

The Commonwealth of Virginia and the Department of Motor Vehicles require that all individuals under the age of 19 meet the following to earn a Virginia driving license:

~ Obtain a Virginia Learner’s Permit not sooner than 15 years, 6 months of age

~ Complete 36, 50-minute periods of classroom instruction

~ Complete 14 periods of Behind-the-Wheel instruction which includes 7 periods of driving and 7 periods of observation. Each period is 50 minutes in length.

~ Hold a Virginia Learner’s Permit for 9 months

Behind the Wheel Instruction for Teenagers

Safe & Sound Driving School currently offers the required 14 periods of in-car training. We also offer in-car practice driving (over and above the required 14 periods) at the student’s and/or parents request for an additional charge. We also offer the classroom component required for a VA driver’s license. Please visit our “Payment/Fees” page for a listing of our fees.

Why are teenage drivers at higher risk?

~ Inexperience – Little or no driving experience means teenage drivers are less able to detect and respond to traffic hazards, less in control of their vehicles, and less able to integrate speed.

~ Risky behavior – Teenagers tend to take more risks as they are influenced by their emotions, stress, and peer pressure. In addition, experimenting with alcohol and recreational drugs can impair the teenager’s driving ability. Also, teenage drivers tend to not use their seat belts, increasing their risk of injury in a crash. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), less than one-fourth of high school students say they always wear their seatbelts when another person is driving.  

~ Driving after dark –  Nighttime driving is more difficult than driving in daylight for all drivers, but especially new drivers. Teenagers tend to do disproportionately more driving at night, increasing their risk of a fatal motor vehicle crash.

How do I help my teenager become a responsible driver?

~ Practice good and safe driving habits yourself

~ Let your teen get his/her learner’s permit as soon as possible so possible

~ See that your teenager is receiving the proper information in his/her driver’s education classes, both classroom and Behind-the-Wheel

~ Have your teen sign a Driving Agreement. Samples:,

~ Require the use of seat belts

~ Restrict night driving time

~ Restrict the number of passengers

~ Chose a vehicle for safety, not image

~ Prohibit drinking and driving