The following are the Driver Education Standards of Learning taught in Virginia Public Schools.
DE.1 The student will demonstrate an understanding of Virginia traffic laws, licensing procedures, and other responsibilities associated with the driving privilege. Key concepts include
a) graduated driver licensing requirements and types of licenses;
b) traffic safety information in the Virginia Driver’s Manual;
c) the motor vehicle section of the Code of Virginia;
d) the organ- and tissue-donation designation process;
e) interaction with law enforcement; and
f) responsibilities at a crash scene.
DE.2 The student will demonstrate an understanding of basic vehicle operating procedures. Key concepts/skills include
a) pre-driving procedures;
b) starting procedures for automatic and manual transmissions;
c) vehicle information, warning, and control devices;
d) efficient accelerating, braking, and steering techniques; and
e) vehicle securing procedures.
DE.3 The student will use vehicle reference points to establish vehicle position and execute basic driving maneuvers. Key concepts/skills include
c) establishing lane position; and
DE. 4 The student will recognize the effects of momentum, gravity, and inertia on vehicle control and balance, and the relationship between kinetic energy and force of impact. Key concepts/skills include
a) sitting and hand position;
b) steering, braking, and accelerating;
c) compensating for shifts in vehicle load (from side to side, front to rear, and rear to front) that affect vehicle performance;
d) managing front tire traction loss (understeer) and rear tire traction loss (oversteer); and
e) analyzing the cause and severity of types of collisions — head-on, near-frontal, broadside, rear-end, rollover, sideswipe.
DE.5 The student will demonstrate the ability to manage visibility, time, and space to avoid collisions and reduce driving risks. Key concepts/skills include
a) demonstrating targeting and tracking skills;
b) synthesizing information visually from the driving environment using the SEEiT (Search, Evaluate and Execute in Time) space-management systematic decision-making process;
c) applying following-distance time and space concepts;
d) selecting appropriate speed, maintaining adequate gap, and judging distance;
e) estimating time and space needs for passing; and
f) identifying and responding to open and closed spaces and changes to line-of-sight or path-of-travel.
DE.6 The student will demonstrate appropriate adjustments when approaching controlled and uncontrolled intersections, curves, work zones, railroad crossings, and hills with line-of-sight or path-of-travel limitations. Key concepts/skills include
a) right-of-way rules;
b) roadway signs, signals, and markings;
c) slope/grade of terrain; and
d) vehicle position and speed control.
DE.7 The student will identify the characteristics of an expressway and apply risk-reducing expressway driving strategies. Key concepts/skills include
a) managing interchanges;
b) entering, merging, and exiting from traffic flow;
c) selecting vehicle position and changing lanes; and
d) managing toll facilities.
DE.8 The student will demonstrate the ability to communicate presence and intentions to other highway transportation users. Key concepts/skills include
a) vehicle position and driver action;
b) vehicle communication devices; and
c) hand signals for slow/stop, right turn and left turn.
DE.9 The student will analyze and describe the physiological, psychological, and cognitive effects of alcohol and other drugs and their impact on a driver’s awareness of risks and involvement in collisions. Key concepts include
a) prescription and nonprescription medications;
b) illegal drugs;
c) effects of alcohol and other drugs on vision and space management;
d) synergistic effects of drugs; and
e) ways alcohol and other drugs are eliminated from the body.
DE.10 The student will identify and analyze the legal, health, and economic consequences associated with alcohol and other drug use and driving. Key concepts/skills include
a) positive and negative peer pressure;
b) refusal and peer-intervention skills;
c) Implied Consent, Zero Tolerance, and Use and Lose laws;
d) Administrative License Revocation, loss of license, ignition interlock, and other licensing restrictions; and
e) court costs, insurance requirements, Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program referral, and other costs.
DE.11 The student will recognize the consequences of aggressive driving and the influence of emotions on driving behaviors. Key concepts include
a) stress and anxiety;
b) anger management; and
c) the relationship between aggressive driving and road rage.
DE.12 The student will analyze the effects of fatigue and other physical conditions on driver performance. Key concepts include
a) circadian rhythms;
b) sleep deprivation;
c) short- and long-term physical and mental disabilities; and
d) chronic health conditions.
DE.13 The student will identify distractions that contribute to driver error. Key concepts include
a) driver behaviors (e.g., eating, smoking, personal grooming);
b) cell phones and other portable technology devices;
d) vehicle accessories; and
e) insects and pets.
DE.14 The student will identify changes in the environment that affect visibility and traction and demonstrate an understanding of appropriate driver reaction to these risks. Key concepts/skills include
a) driving at night;
b) smoke- and weather-related conditions;
c) road construction and other adverse road conditions; and
d) vehicle stability and traction control systems.
DE.15 The student will demonstrate an understanding of the proper use of vehicle occupant-protection features and analyze how they can reduce injury severity and increase collision survival. Key concepts/skills include
a) active restraint systems;
b) passive restraint systems;
c) child restraint systems; and
d) other vehicle safety design features.
DE.16 The student will analyze how technological advancements in intelligent handling and stability control systems affect driving practices. Key concepts/skills include
a) electronic stability control systems;
b) occupant protection systems to include thorax, curtain, knee and other airbags;
c) seatbelt technologies and intelligent head restraints systems;
d) adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking systems;
e) lane-keeping assist and blind spot warning systems;
f) reversing and other cameras; and
g) adaptive front lighting.
DE 17 The student will identify and evaluate emergency-response strategies to avoid or reduce the severity of a collision in high-risk driving situations. Key concepts/skills include
a) understanding and managing front and rear traction control;
b) identifying open space;
c) recognizing how decisions are influenced and limited by the environment, the vehicle, driver error, and driver capabilities;
d) demonstrating evasive maneuvers, using braking and steering combinations; and
e) managing off-road recovery.
DE.18 The student will identify and describe the performance characteristics of other road users and apply problem-solving skills to minimize risks when sharing the roadway with
a) pedestrians and animals;
b) bicycles, scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles;
c) tractor-trailers, trucks, and construction vehicles;
d) sport utility vehicles, recreation vehicles, and trailers;
e) emergency vehicles;
f) funeral processions;
g) passenger and school buses; and
h) farm machinery and horse-drawn vehicles.
DE.19 The student will compare vehicle braking systems and explain and demonstrate proper braking techniques for various weather and roadway conditions. Key concepts/skills include
a) demonstrating proper use of conventional brake systems;
b) demonstrating and evaluating controlled braking, trail braking, and threshold braking;
c) engaging antilock brake systems (ABS) and steering toward a target; and
d) analyzing how preventive maintenance reduces the possibility of brake failure and enhances safety.
DE.20 The student will analyze how regular preventive maintenance reduces the possibility of vehicle failures and recognize the warning signs that indicate the need for maintenance, repair, or replacement. Key concepts/skills include
a) vehicle warning devices;
b) lights and signals;
c) steering and suspension systems;
d) tires and braking systems;
e) cooling system and belts; and
f) fuel system and ignition electronics.
DE.21 The student will identify and describe the legal aspects of and identify the financial responsibilities associated with purchasing, operating, maintaining, and insuring a motor vehicle. Key concepts include
a) the Financial Responsibility Law;
b) required and optional insurance coverage;
c) title and vehicle registration;
d) vehicle inspection;
e) fuel, fluids, tires, and other maintenance costs; and
f) collision involvement.
DE.22 The student will demonstrate competency in map-reading and trip-planning skills. Key concepts/skills include
a) route planning;
b) map-reading and trip-planning technologies; and
c) calculating the cost of a trip.
DE.23 The student will research and evaluate personal transportation needs and their impact on the environment and demonstrate skills necessary to be an informed consumer. Key concepts/skills include
a) printed and Internet resources;
b) community resources;
c) vehicle pollution, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ozone-causing gases, and acids;
d) appropriate disposal of batteries, fluids, tires, and other environmentally hazardous materials; and
e) energy conservation, alternative or renewable sources of energy, and conservation of natural resources.