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Iowa driver's education instructor's information

Iowa standards and benchmarks

Shortly after the Iowa DOT assumed oversight of driver education from the Iowa Department of Education in 2002, a committee was formed to aid the DOT in understanding what was needed and where things were headed in the field. One of the concerns was for "standards and benchmarks" for driver's education like the other subjects in school. When each of the teachers produced the format being used by their school, it was apparent that different schools had different definitions for standards and benchmarks. The group mutually determined what the basic driver education standards should be and then each teacher wrote their own benchmarks to those standards. Each teacher's contribution is listed separately and divided by stars. Interested teachers may use as much or as little as they desire. The teachers involved in this effort were: Jim Miller of Moravia, Gary Jorgensen of Orient-Macksburg, Tim Linder of Iowa City, David Sievers of East Central, and Dale Waggoner of Spencer.

The Standards decided on are:
Below are the benchmarks for each standard.

Learn traffic and vehicle-related laws

Learn traffic and vehicle-related laws.
Identify and define the meaning of different traffic signs.
Identify and define the meaning of different traffic signals.
Identify and define the meaning of different highway markings.
Identify all of the information on the instrument panel.
Identify all of the controls on the steering wheel.
Communicates with other highway users in a correct manner.
Performs and uses vehicle correctly as highway situations arise.

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Learn and recognize the requirements of the law in driving practices including:
  • Following distances.
  • Stopping distances.
  • Turns (proper lanes to exit and enter).
  • Signal for turns.

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Traffic signs.
Painted markings on streets and highways.
Right of way.
Lane position.
Passing.
Seat belts.
Apply the laws to driving situations in a safe and legal manner.
Evaluate accident situations to apply the correct accident reporting requirements.
Discuss related options to show an understanding of the organ donor law and its choices.
List the legal requirements for buying and titling a car in your name.
List the legal requirements for selling a car that is titled in your name.

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Gain a knowledge of the meaning of shapes, colors and location of signs encountered in the driving environment.
Understand the laws of physics relating to the driving task.
Be aware of the penalties for traffic offenses.
Understand the rules for right of way in all traffic situations.

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Explain each item on the instrument panel and describe the function and placement.
Identify the various types of traffic lights and roadway signs and markings.
Demonstrates awareness of the procedure for and the importance of organ donation.
Understand the importance of wearing seat belts.
Describe the procedure for getting a driver's license.

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Understands "understood speed limit" and "basic speed limit" laws.
Understands, recognizes and identifies traffic signs, lane markings and their meanings.
Understands right-of-way rules and regulations.
Knows laws regarding buses, emergency vehicles and slow-moving vehicles.
Demonstrates the skills needed to be a lawful driver.

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The student will become familiar with lifesaving tips and traffic-control devices, such as signs, signals and roadway markings.
The student will be able to understand Iowa's licensure process, including the graduated driver's license program.
The student will know and demonstrate the rules of the road including right-of-way rules.
The student will know and understand Iowa's driving while intoxicated laws (actually operating while intoxicated, OWI not DWI).
The student will be able to seek life-saving assistance and provide first aid at an accident scene.



Develop the skills necessary to safely maneuver a vehicle

Can verbally describe and is able to perform correct forward and backward steering techniques.
Uses the signal device correctly.
Performs the lane change technique correctly.
Uses hand techniques on steering wheel correctly.
Makes left and right turns correctly.
Outlines and is able to perform technique in turning vehicle around.
Performs the technique in stopping the vehicle correctly.
Performs driving the vehicle correctly and always has it under control.
Performs predriving techniques prior to driving.
Performs the driving technique of vehicle of choice correctly (automatic/stick).
Describes the correct procedure and is able to perform parallel, angle and perpendicular parking on left and right side of the street and on hills.
Performs intersection driving techniques correctly.
Performs correct turning technique from different types of street to different
types of streets (left, right, one-way, two-way).
Performs correct driving procedures in rural areas.
Performs correct driving procedures in urban (city) area.
Deducts and describes correct driving technique if special driving situations arise.
Describes how to handle, or what to do, if vehicle malfunctions.

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Demonstrate proper techniques for safe and legal maneuvers for the following maneuvers.

  • Turning
  • Backing
  • Steering,
  • Curves
  • Passing
  • Shifting

Perform complete pretrip inspection to ensure the vehicle is ready to operate.
Express how physics can affect the following maneuvers.

  • Stopping
  • Starting
  • Curves

Identify and describe the purpose of all gauges and controls in the car.
Evaluate road emergencies and describe the proper action.

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Perform left and right turns.
Accelerate and decelerate smoothly.
Be aware of the total driving situation.
Perform backing maneuvers.
Perform various turn-around maneuvers.
Perform proper hand actions in steering.
Learn to judge proper following distance.
Drive as though you are invisible and compensate for others' mistakes.

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Classify what automotive devices are used for safety, visibility, communication and comfort.
Execute the proper procedure for lane changes, passing and merging maneuvers.
Execute parallel, angle and perpendicular parking procedures.

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Understands the controls and instrument panel of the vehicle and demonstrates how they work.
Knows and demonstrates the proper techniques of steering, braking and accelerating.
Demonstrates proper techniques of eye movement, including use of mirrors, visual perception and judgment.
Knows what to do in emergency situations, such as accidents.
Knows and demonstrates the following rule, space cushion, and lane placement and selection.
Understands and demonstrates skills needed to maneuver in urban, rural and expressway settings.
Understands vehicle maintenance and demonstrates proper techniques for checking fluid levels, tire pressure, etc.
Uses seat belts in the correct manner and locks all doors.
Demonstrates a "safety-first" attitude toward driving.

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The student will learn how to start and stop the car.
The student will be able to track the car in reverse. (This would include tracking in a straight line, tracking to the right and tracking to the left.)
The student will be able to execute a right and left turn.
The student will be able to maneuver and position the car in city traffic.
The student will be able to execute turnabouts (U-turns, three-point turns, two-point turns to the left and to the right).
The student will be able to position and maneuver the car in a variety of weather conditions as presented during the laboratory phase of driver education.
The student will be able to maneuver and position the car in city traffic.
The student will be able to position and maneuver the car on a highway and expressway.
The student will be able to successfully complete an angle, perpendicular and parallel park.
The student will be able to perform a variety of lateral maneuvers including lane changes, merges and steering to a curb.
The student driver will be able to perform evasive maneuvers and exits from power and braking skids.
The student driver should be able to start, shift, corner and brake to a stop on a motorcycle.
The student driver will be able to start, put in motion, downshift, upshift and bring to a stop a manual transmission car.



Respect the rights and dignity of other roadway users

Respect the rights and dignity of other roadway users (bicycles, motorcycles, pedestrians, trucks, buses, trains).
Describes and is able to use the Smith System of Space Cushion Driving techniques.
Describes and is able to use the SIPDE technique of driving.
Performs driving techniques on highway correctly by going up and down hills, and around curves correctly.
Uses some technique of constantly scanning forward, sideways and behind to always know where the other highway users are located.
Describes when and where to go if emergency vehicle approaches.
Describes what to try to do to avoid potential collisions.

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Recognize the possible actions of other roadways users and describe alternative actions that a driver would take to accommodate those possible actions.
Compare the agility (stopping, starting, turning, visibility) of other roadway users and describe alternative actions to accommodate those characteristics.

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Become a courteous driver.
Control emotions when behind the wheel.
Try to make the driving task easier for others.
Practice the Golden Rule.

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Respect the complexity of the driving task.
Demonstrates awareness of the danger at railroad crossings.

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Displays a positive attitude toward driving and other drivers.
Shows courtesy to other drivers.
Understands right-of-way rules and laws; grants others the right of way.
Communicates effectively and positively with other drivers: signals, horn and hand signals.

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The student will demonstrate the ability to influence the behavior of other highway users.
The student will know and demonstrate how to interact with pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, oversized vehicles, and emergency vehicles.
The student will be able to maintain space all around the vehicle and abide by all speed laws.



Make self-directed decisions concerning drugs and alcohol

Make self-directed decisions concerning the use of drugs and alcohol (and other depressants) not on original list.
Compare and contrast what the use of alcohol can do to a driver who uses alcohol and then drives.
Understands what the use of drugs can do to a driver who uses drugs and then drives.
Compare and contrast what the use of drinking alcohol and taking drugs can do to a person and then drives.
List the traffic laws governing the use of alcohol and drugs, and then driving.
Identify ways to cope with peer pressure when confronted with alcohol and drugs.

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Understand and describe the affects of drugs and their affects on a person's ability to drive safely,
Understand/classify and describe the affect of drugs, alcohol, sleep deprivation and their affects on a person's ability to drive safely.
Identify various emotions and describe their affect on safe driving.
Identify vision deficiencies and explain how that may affect driving ability.
Identify distractions and describe how to prevent or cope with distractions while driving.

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Understand the effects of drugs and alcohol on the person as a whole.
Know how alcohol and drugs physically affect the body.
Know the effects of alcohol and drugs on driving performance.
Be aware of the possible consequences of alcohol and drug use.

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Understands the effects of alcohol and other drugs on the mind and body.
Understands how alcohol and other drugs can affect driving skills.
Understands the serious fatality rate for drivers under the influence of alcohol and other drugs.
Knows proper method(s) for decision-making.
Displays enough self-confidence to make good decisions regarding alcohol, drugs and driving.
Understands the legal ramifications of OWI.

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The student will understand the affect drugs (illicit, including alcohol and prescription drugs) have on the driving process.



Consumer information

Name different ways to get an operator's license.
Summarize the graduation license program.
Explain the Organ Donor Program and how to become an organ donor.
List things to look form when buying vehicle.

(BELTS) = CHECK (B = brakes, E = exhaust, L = lights, T = Tires, S = steering)

Identify when a vehicle needs the attention of a mechanic.
Summarize the necessary procedures and information in successful trip planning.

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Analyze the types of insurance coverage and determine which is best for various situations.
List maintenance points on a vehicle and define/explain when correction is needed.
Analyze considerations in buying a car.

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Learn the procedure for obtaining financing and insurance for an automobile.
Understand interest rates.
Know what insurance options to purchase.
Learn to shop for repairs.
Be aware of the total cost of obtaining, maintaining and operating an automobile.

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Analyze various automotive insurance coverages.
Identify automotive consumer issues, such as financing and general maintenance.

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Understands basic insurance concepts and the need to have insurance.
Understands the role he/she plays in protecting the environment and recycling automotive products.
Understands the different facets of buying a car, including financing, insuring and what to look for.

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The student will understand the maintenance information found in an owner's manual. Special emphasis should be placed on engine maintenance, cooling system, suspension system, braking system and tire inflation.
The student will understand the variety of car insurance coverages and the variables that affect the cost of such coverages.



Adapting driving to various environments

Recognizes when to turn head lights on when driving at dusk, dawn and at night.
Uses sun visor and sunglasses if needed when driving with sun glare.
Uses night driving techniques when driving at night.
Uses low-beam lights when driving with fog.
Uses low-beam lights when driving with rain.
Uses winter driving techniques when driving in snow, ice and cold weather.
Recognizes windy weather can be very dangerous when driving high profile vehicles.
Recognizes hot weather driving may be hard on a vehicle.

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List the points of a safe driving or space cushion driving system (SAFE-SIPDE-SMITH SYSTEM) and explain how those points relate to safe driving.
Compare and contrast driving at dusk and dark with driving during full light situations.
Compare/contrast driving on gravel roads with driving on hard surfaces.
Compare and contrast driving on ice, snow, wet leaves, sand and road debris with driving on a clean or clear road.

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Student shall adjust driving techniques and procedures to safely maneuver in various situations, including adapting to:

  • Winter driving conditions.
  • Rainy driving conditions.
  • City driving.
  • Rural driving.
  • Daylight driving.
  • Nighttime driving.

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Employ searching and scanning techniques that allow student to gather critical information.
Identify potential roadway hazards.
Predict traffic situations based on driving observation.
Adjust normal driving practices to compensate for weather conditions.
Compensates for hazards imposed by nighttime driving.
Understand various driving environments such as highway to city traffic patterns.
Identify the hazards of driving distractions inside the vehicle such as cell phones, passengers, etc.

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Understands the difficulties of driving in adverse conditions.
Understands the concept of "driving according to conditions."
Understands the concept of driving in hot/cold conditions.
Understands the idea of hydroplaning.
Understands the difference of driving on good roads and poor roads.
Understands the problems associated with driving at night.
Understands the physics of a skid and how to overcome a skid.

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The student will be able to perform night driving procedures.
The student will be able to drive properly in adverse conditions such as fog, rainfall, snow and ice.