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> Driver Education
 
Amos Neyhart (right) during a driving instructor class sponsored by the American Automobile Association
Amos Neyhart (right) during a driving instructor class sponsored by the American Automobile Association

In the early twentieth century, new drivers were taught by family members, friends, or car dealers. By the 1930s, some safety advocates thought that formal training of young motorists in public school systems would reduce accidents. In 1932, Amos Neyhart, an industrial engineering professor at Pennsylvania State University, established driver education courses at State College High School, located near the Penn State campus in State College, Pennsylvania.

Neyhart served as an advisor to the American Automobile Association (AAA), which developed curricula for driver education students and teachers under the title Sportsmanlike Driving. AAA encouraged the development of driving classes at public high schools and established training programs for driving instructors at colleges and universities.

A growing number of high schools added special courses in an effort to improve driver skill and behavior and reduce the number of accidents. In many high schools, there were not enough teachers for one-on-one experience behind the wheel of a car. Driving simulators filled this gap by the 1950s.

Booklet for driver education instructors, published by the American Automobile Association in 1937
Booklet for driver education instructors, published by the American Automobile Association in 1937
Developed by an insurance company in the early 1950s, the Aetna Drivotrainer simulated driving experience at less cost than on-the-road training. High school students watched real-time traffic films while 'driving' consoles with actual Ford automobile parts, including a steering wheel, brake, accelerator, and speedometer. An instructor monitored students' reactions on a central console.
Developed by an insurance company in the early 1950s, the Aetna Drivotrainer simulated driving experience at less cost than on-the-road training. High school students watched real-time traffic films while "driving" consoles with actual Ford automobile parts, including a steering wheel, brake, accelerator, and speedometer. An instructor monitored students' reactions on a central console.
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