- $141 for Three One-Hour Driving Lessons and Drivers’ Vision Screening ($238 value)
Driver’s Ed Cars: Two Brakes are Better Than One
Most likely, your driving lessons will take place in a special car with a brake on the instructor’s side. Check out Groupon’s overview of this necessary twin.
When learning to ride a bike, kids rely on a parent’s hand gripping their seat. When learning to fly, pilots know that clouds will be there to cushion their fall. Likewise, when learning to drive, new students have a safeguard of their own: an extra brake pedal—sometimes even another steering wheel—on the passenger side, known as a dual-control system. This extra set of controls is a vital failsafe when students find themselves in tricky situations on the road, so many states require it in behind-the-wheel driver’s education classes. Few manufacturers actually produce these special vehicles, but almost any regular car can transform into one with the installation of a simple pulley system, in which the passenger-side pedals are bolted into the floor and connected to the driver’s side via a steel cable threaded through the center console.
While it’s not entirely clear who originally invented the dual-control system—or when—its evolution can be seen in a series of 20th-century patents. The dual-steering mechanism allowed an instructor to operate the clutch, brake, and accelerator in any required manner while teaching a novice to drive. Later came an adjustable, portable version that could be removed and installed in nearly any car, which was a valuable innovation in the 1950s, when cars finally began to take on new shapes, sizes, and personalities.