The Different Classifications of Driver Training

For liability reasons, because of the extreme roll-over risk associated with performing crash avoidance maneuvers, the NDDI will not approve/endorse/insure for any contractor any vehicle with an Overall Height to Wheelbase ratio in excess of .652. The exceptions being limited to Ford Escape and Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, Chevrolet Trailblazer, Tahoe and Suburban, Honda Pilot and CRV, Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Rav 4.

Also, the NDDI does not recommend anyone under 25 operate a vehicle in excess of 300 horsepower without additional waiver/releases being signed by student parent alike. This includes the stipulation that no Horsepower to Curb Weight ratios in excess of .073 be admitted in to the program.

Level 1: Familiarization / Entry Level
Programs that fall into one of the following categories:
  1.)
2.)


3.)
Lecture programs of varying length that neither take attendance, nor produce any proof of completion.
Any group event that does not require behind the wheel time such as a trade-show-type event with multiple vendors, or observing a crash-reenactment dramatization.
Self-paced classes with at most parental supervision consisting of various forms of media. (Textbooks, audios and videos)
Any self-regulated program where driving time is logged.


Level 2: On-Line
Point-and-click programs which require no interaction with instructors.

Typically offered by insurance companies to discount insurance rates.

Example: On-line driver's education courses.



Level 3: Defensive Driving I ("Passive")
Programs with minimal or no skill-training involved.

Programs with little or no skill training involved. Sometimes referred to as “scared-straight” programs heavy in video content. State or court appointed programs. These programs only increase awareness of situations that could easily become Emergency Driving Conditions.

Example: DUI schools, NSC classroom-only sessions such as "Alive at 25", generic programs called “state approved driver improvement clinic”, “Drunk Goggles” programs and some on-line programs not substantial enough to meet the requirements of an "Active" Defensive Driving program in Crash Avoidance.


Level 4: Simulation I & II
  Simulation I:

Simulation II:
Simulator programs of the single-monitor variety. Designed to do anything from apply their knowledge of traffic laws to test their braking reaction time.
Virtual reality application of the driving experience. Any full-sensory type driving simulator in which the graphics are photo-quality and real-time displayed on wrap-around monitors.


Level 5: Basic Operational Training (State Approved Curriculum, i.e. Drivers Education)
Introduction to vehicle operation, basic navigation and behind the wheel training in Normal Driving Conditions only.


Level 6: Advanced Operational Training: Mass audience
Instructors of this level training are NOT required to be NDDI Certified. No education, experience or instructor certification in driver training required
Knowledge of each participants individual learning style not necessary since the training is not personalized.

Example: Non-profit organizations offering complimentary, or low-cost ($99 or less) classroom only programs to the general public.


Level 7: Advanced Operational Training: Rotation audience
Instructors of this level training are NOT required to be NDDI Certified. No education, experience or instructor certification in driver training required
These programs increase driver awareness of situations that could become Emergency Driving Conditions, and provide exposure to driving techniques used to respond when it happens.
Knowledge of each participant’s individual learning style not necessary since the training is not personalized.
Parents/guardians do not attend all aspects of program with student and therefore do not qualify for any certifications.
Neither “Continued education” driving exercise opportunities, consulting services nor resources are expected to be offered beyond the completion of the program.
Non-profit organizations offering complimentary, or low-cost (less than $200) classroom and driving sessions to the general public.

Example: Tire Rack’s “Street Survival” program or Doug Herbert’s “B.R.A.K.E.S.” program.


Level 8: Advanced Operational Training: Private instruction
Instructors of this level training are NOT required to be NDDI Certified. No education, experience or instructor certification in driver training required. Often delivered not by company-titles staff, but by volunteers.
These programs increase driver awareness of situations that could become Emergency Driving Conditions, and provide moderate skill-training on how to respond when it happens.
Knowledge of each participant’s individual learning style not necessary since the training is not personalized.
Parents/guardians do not attend all aspects of program with student and therefore do not qualify for any certifications.
Neither “Continued education” exercise opportunities, consulting services nor resources are expected to be offered beyond the completion of the program.
These programs are not required to give their students any advance notice as to the nature of the exercises they will be performing.

Example: “New Driver Car Control Clinic”


Level 9: Defensive Driving II ("Active") - Advanced Skill Training: Generic Applications
Instructors of this level training are required to be NDDI Certified.
Behind-the-wheel, advanced skill training, done in a vehicle provided by the training organization, which is usually an automobile manufacturer (BMW, Audi, Ford, etc.).
(Instructors are typically familiar with the vehicles specs, turning radius, acceleration/deceleration rates and braking systems and such of the vehicles the provide for their students since they all use the same vehicles.)
These programs increase driver awareness of situations that could become Emergency Driving Conditions, and provide advanced skill-training on how to respond when it happens.
Parents/guardians are expected to attend all aspects of program with student and therefore will qualify for any certifications and/or Defensive Driving Certificates.
Knowledge of each participant’s individual learning style is required, since the training is personalized, and delivered in the family environment.
“Continued education” exercise opportunities, consulting services nor resources are expected to be offered beyond the completion of the program.
Meets published criteria of a National Safety Sanctioning Body such as NSC.

Hands-on, training is done in Emergency Driving Conditions that are:
  1.)
2.) 
Taken as an elective to complete the new-driver training process, or
Required by the courts for repeat-offenders. 


Level 10: Defensive Driving III ("Active") -Advanced Skill Training: Specific applications
Instructors of this level training are required to be NDDI Certified.
Behind-the-wheel, advanced skill training, done in the student’s own vehicle so as to be directly relevant to their individual needs.
(Instructors are also required to research and familiarize themselves with the vehicle specs, turning radii, acceleration/deceleration rates and braking systems available on each vehicle that will be attending the program, so the training is directly relevant to each driver's specific needs and each vehicle's specific capabilities/limitations.)
These programs increase driver awareness of situations that could become Emergency Driving Conditions, and provide advanced skill-training on how to respond when it happens.
Parents/guardians are expected to attend all aspects of program with student and therefore will qualify for any certifications and/or Defensive Driving Certificates.
Knowledge of each participant’s individual learning style is required, since the training is personalized, and delivered in the family environment.
Considering these programs are typically in excess of $400 to $500, these programs ARE required to make available the nature of the exercises in advance as well as the learning objectives of the program.
NDDI requires graduates of these programs be offered continued access to its staff, consulting services and resources beyond the completion point of the program.
Meets published criteria of a National Driving Sanctioning Body such as AAA or NDDI.

Hands-on, training is done in Emergency Driving Conditions that are:
  1.)
2.)
3.) 
Taken as an elective to complete the new-driver training process, or,
Required by the courts for repeat-offenders, or,
Taken by companies seeking to reduce their insurance risk/liabilities for their fleet drivers


Level 11: Emergency Vehicle Operation Course (EVOC) Training
First responders training available through law enforcement agencies including high-speed, or pursuit vehicle training.


Level 12: Competition or Performance
High-speed classes in vehicle maximization. Driving styles recommended for closed course competition. Not for street use.

Driving programs which include skid-pad training, controlling a skid, drifting and the like*. (*The NDDI feels there are some driving skills that don't belong in the hands of a new driver. Therefore, programs including maintaining a skid, drifting and other behaviors not appropriate for public roads new drivers do not qualify for certification as they tend to make new drivers feel over-confident.

Examples: Bob Bondurant, Skip Barber, Frank Hawley, etc.