Driver Ed in a Box Review

Driver Ed in a Box has a catchy name and was produced by a well-known name in the Driver’s Education Business: Patrick Barrett.

Produced by industry expert, Patrick Barrett

Patrick is a leading expert in the driver training field. He has written numerous books on the subject of driver training, was the President of the North American Professional Driver Education Association for eight years, and has spent years training students and instructors.

So, when Patrick puts together a program, you know the information is top-notch.

Parent-Taught Curriculum

Driver Ed in a Box has a slightly different approach to driver training than some of the other DVDs in our product round-up. Driver Ed in a Box is a driver training curriculum for parents to use to teach their teen to drive. Similar to the extensive “Learn to Drive” section of, Driver Ed in a Box aims to give parents a simple-to-follow training program that they can implement with their teen.

To that end, Driver Ed in a Box includes more than just a DVD. The product includes the following:

  1. 362-page textbook (either in print form or on a CD-ROM).
  2. It also includes a Student Workbook which includes the quizzes. The CD-ROM allows you to take the quizzes interactively.
  3. The Parent Companion is a 50-page booklet that is designed to be used by the parent during in-car lessons.
  4. Short video clips on DVD. These video clips show a father and daughter training with the system.
  5. 6-part audio series on 3 audio CDs. These are intended for the parent and provide tips for every phase of the behind-the-wheel portion of the course.
  6. Two training mirrors. One mirror is the parent’s (instructor’s) rear view mirror and the other is an eye check mirror so that the parent can monitor what their student is looking at.

Approved in multiple states

Driver Ed in a Box provides a certificate of completion for Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Colorado and Minnesota have also approved Driver Ed in a Box.

Brief History

Driver Ed in a Box was initially created in 1997 when the State of Texas began its Parent-Taught Driver Education program. The concept was to allow parents to use TDPS (Texas Department of Public Safety) approved materials to teach their teens to drive. Initially, the only material was provided by the State itself. Its 1600+ page manual was impossible for parents to figure out how to use.

Driver Ed in a Box was created to solve this problem. It distilled the 1600+ page manual down to 362 pages and created a “box” of goodies that the parent could use to teach their teen to drive.

Our Assessment

Driver Ed in a Box is full of useful information from an industry expert. The execution, however, has left us wishing for a design overhaul to a product that is over 10 years old.

The videos include useful information, but they’re poorly produced and somewhat boring. The training manuals include hand-drawn illustrations and poorly laid-out text.

The Textbook is quite lengthy at 362 pages and is not the easiest read. The interactive CD-ROM is only interactive in the sense that you have to click “next” on each screen to move on to the next one (however, most online driver’s ed “interactive” courses are laid out in a similar fashion). The quizzes are graded for you, so I guess that counts as interactivity. There are few illustrations or pictures.

Presentation issues aside, the information contained within the program is excellent. The inclusion of the training mirrors is a godsend for most parents-as-instructors as are the 3 audio CDs.

Overall, Driver Ed in a Box is a top-notch aid for parents wishing to teach their kids to drive provided that you are willing to put in the effort to read and learn the course material. We strongly suggest that you supplement Driver Ed in a Box with some of the other DVDs in this round-up. Your teen will probably not be thrilled with how Driver Ed in a Box presents the basics. The other DVDs do a much better job in the presentation department.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for certification in your state, Driver Ed in a Box probably has the best instruction. Virtual Drive of America probably has better execution. So, if you’re willing to “deal” with the fact that Driver Ed in a Box isn’t the glossiest product, you can’t go wrong.

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