Conventional Driver Training Kills, Don’t Pass it on to Your New Driver!

If you learned how to drive sometime in the last 80 years, there’s an extremely high probability that you learned a “Conventional Driver Training” (CDT) methodology. Want to set your new driver up for an accident? Teach them what you learned or have them take lessons from a regular (CDT) driving school. If the average licensed driver thinks their driving skills are so great and that “Conventional Driver Training” (CDT) is so damn good, then tell me why over the last 75 years, twice as many people in the U.S. have been killed in auto accidents compared to the number of U.S. soldiers that have been killed in….


Conventional Driver Training (developed in the 1930’s) is a plague that has permeated our society. Driving schools and parents teach it to new drivers with the best of intentions, but good intentions are no substitute for teaching a driver training methodology that steers drivers into having accidents.

In the late 1480’s and early 1490’s, the vast majority of society arrogantly believed that the earth was flat and their knowledge on the subject was beyond reproach…..


Now, in 2017, the vast majority of society arrogantly believes that they know how to drive (and teach driving) and their knowledge on the subject is beyond reproach….


The truth? As an expert on this subject, I can tell you that “people don’t know what they don’t know” and that includes the vast majority of parents and professional driving instructors.  Conventional Driver Training is a “Flat Earth” methodology and is killing thousands every year.  You can continue the problem or be part of the solution.

John Cullington

A Good Driver is a Bad Driver

When I was a young child and I behaved in an inappropriate manner, my parents would call that “bad” behavior.  Bad meant bad.

Later on in my teenage years, I learned the meaning of “bad” had actually changed to mean “good”.  A bad concert or a bad car actually meant it was a really good concert or an awesome car.  Bad meant good.

Well, since “Bad” can mean “Good”, is it possible that “Good” can mean “Bad”?

The following is a list of statements that have been communicated to me by the “PARENTS” of the teenage drivers while they were observing me teach their children during their driver training lessons.

I tailgate…..but I’m a good driver.
I drive too fast….but I’m a good driver.
I roll stop signs…..but I’m a good driver.
I text while driving….but I’m a good driver.
I don’t always signal….but I’m a good driver.
I totaled a car last year….but I’m a good driver.
I ran into my garage door….but I’m a good driver.
I drive in “packs of traffic”….but I’m a good driver.
I’m afraid of driving at night….but I’m a good driver.
I rear-ended a car last week…..but I’m a good driver.
I roll red lights on right turns…….but I’m a good driver.
I have three speeding tickets…….but I’m a good driver.
I drive in other driver’s blind spots….but I’m a good driver.
I’m afraid of driving in heavy traffic…..but I’m a good driver.
I’m afraid of driving on the freeway……but I’m a good driver.
I’m afraid of driving on mountain roads…but I’m a good driver.
I sometimes hit the curb when parking next to it…but I’m a good driver.
I unsafely pull out in front of approaching drivers…but I’m a good driver.
I depend on my mirrors and don’t check my blind spots…..but I’m a good driver.
I sometimes cut other drivers off when making lane changes….but I’m a good driver.
I sometimes make lane changes into other driver’s blind spots…..but I’m a good driver.
I swerve around other drivers making a right turn in front of me without looking
….but I’m a good driver.
I forget to turn on my headlights when it’s raining (California requirement)
….but I’m a good driver.
I can’t park with wheels straight in the middle of a parking space
….but I’m a good driver.

The vast majority of drivers classify themselves as “good drivers”.  The harsh truth?  As an expert in the field of driver training for over 3 decades, I can honestly say without a doubt:

THE VAST MAJORITY OF DRIVERS ARE ……wait for it…….wait for it…..

                                          “BAD DRIVERS”.

Don’t believe me?  How can you explain 6.2 million accidents annually in the U.S. with 3.2 million of those accidents involving injuries?  Are all of those drivers good drivers?  How can you explain approximately 35,000 traffic deaths each year?  If our country is full of so many “Good Drivers” then why do thousands of these senseless deaths occur?  How can you explain that since 1949, almost twice as many people have been killed on U.S. highways compared to the number of U.S. soldiers that have been killed in all of the wars the U.S. has been involved in, going back to and including the Revolutionary War beginning in 1775?

Whatever happened to the goal of becoming, or having our children become, an “exceptional, expert, or extremely competent” driver?  Sadly, that goal has never been really prominent in our society…….it’s been supplanted by passing a pathetic 8-minute DMV driving exam and receiving a little piece of plastic called a driver’s license.  A driver’s license isn’t a goal, it’s just a piece of plastic.

The list presented above is by no means a complete list.  Review the list and see how many of those bad driving traits apply to your driving.  How many of those bad driving traits do you think your children/teenagers will adopt because, if mommy and daddy do it, then it must be OK for them to do when they start driving.  Parents will reap what they sow and bad driving traits are big bad dangerous seeds for new drivers. Please read my previous post The Education Program Most Likely to Kill to find out where a big part of the problem started.  Additionally, if you’re interested in fixing the problem, please take a look at the 5 Star Driver program I’ve developed.

John Cullington


Parents Teaching Teens to be Bad Drivers

The other day while giving a driver training lesson to a teenager, I realized what a “good driver” is to some people. While pointing out mistakes the other drivers were making, my student would comment, “My mom/dad does that…..but she/he is a good driver“.

We witnessed rolling stops, failure to signal, speeding, tailgating, unsafe lane changes, etc.. Each and every time we witnessed these mistakes, my student would make the same comment about his parents making the same mistakes and then followed it up with, “but they are good drivers“.


We pulled over to the side of the road and I asked my student, “if committing all of these mistakes makes you a good driver, then what is your definition of a bad driver?” I received the infamous “deer in the headlights” look and he had no answer. I explained that those driving behaviors are indicative of a “bad driver”, not a “good driver” and if he adopted his parents driving behaviors, he would be the one I would be pointing out as an example of a “bad driver” to one of my future students.

After 33 years of teaching driver training, I can honestly say that a vast majority of parents are extremely “unqualified” to effectively teach their teen how to a safe and competent driver. Most parents think that since they have a driver’s license and think they’re a good driver, they also think they’re automatically qualified to teach driving. Nothing could be further from the truth.

During my driver training lessons, parents ride along in the back seat about 80% of the time to learn how to use the Cullington Driving Concepts® so they don’t unintentionally sabotage my training. I can tell you that 100% of the parents, after watching me teach their teen, tell me that they would have taught their teen the opposite way from how I was teaching. The parents also tell me that I improved their driving skills just by watching.


Parents have been set up to fail by the “DMV’s driver’s license mandates” by requiring them to “teach” their teens when they (the parents) haven’t been trained how to teach. The result is a transference of the parents “poor driving behaviors” to their teen.  Then, when the teen adopts the same driving skills & behaviors as their parents, the parent feels their job is done.

So, for the parents out there that don’t agree with what I’ve written, I challenge you to take this quiz and see how you do. If you would like more information about learning how to competently and effectively teach your teen how to drive, please go to this link.

John Cullington

The Education Program Most Likely to Kill

roadside memorial

If there was an education program out there that when completed, the graduates would end up being responsible for the #1 killer of 4 to 34 year-old people, would you rush to sign up for it?  You probably did.  Would you rush to sign your children up for it?  You probably have or will do in the future.

The education program I’m writing about is “Driver’s Education”.  You know that program, the one that’s required before getting a driver’s license.  Here are a few statistics from the nationwide “Required Driver’s Education” programs:

1.  Traffic crashes are the #1 killer of teenagers.  Teens make up 7% of the drivers on the road but are involved in 20% of the fatalities.

2.  During the first 3 years of driving, 80% of new drivers will be involved in a reportable accident.

3.  The first 10 years of the Iraq-Afghan war killed 6,800 U.S. soldiers while during the same 10 years, 392,603 men, women, and children were killed in automobile accidents.

The “Required Driver’s Education” programs are a complete failure yet millions of parents send their teenagers to these programs every year.  And, it’s not just the teenagers.  If you take a look at the first statistic, couldn’t you also interpret it as:

1.  Adults make up 93% of the drivers on the road but are involves in 80% of the fatalities.

The truth is, the driver education and training methodology that has been taught in the U.S. for the last 75 years is flawed, seriously flawed.  I’ll give you an example.


pretty woman on road

Scenario #1.  You’re driving down the road and ahead on the right side of the road, you see a really beautiful woman or a handsome guy and you start to really check them out.  Suddenly, you realize your car is steering right towards them….because you were looking at them too long.


police lights

Scenario #2.  A drunk driver is driving down the road and ahead on the right side of the road is a police car with flashing lights.  The drunk driver steers right towards and crashes into the police car because he was looking at the police car for too long…..because he was drunk.


bicyclist ahead2

Scenario #3.  Your teen is learning how to drive and is driving down the road with you in the passenger seat.  Ahead on the right side of the road is a bicyclist.  Not wanting your teenager to crash into the bicyclist you naturally say, “WATCH OUT FOR THE BICYCLIST”.


Now what do you think your teenager is naturally going to look at and eventually steer towards?  That’s right, the bicyclist…. just like the drunk driver steered toward the police car and why you steered toward the attractive person on the side of the road.

Congratulations, you’ve just successfully passed down a flawed driver training methodology to your children that emulates the visual search patterns of a drunk driver.

I have spent the last 32 years creating a driver training methodology that eliminates these flaws called the Creating a 5 Star Driver, Beyond Drivers Ed® video series.  If you truly care about making sure your teenager is a safe driver then have them complete my course and become a 5 Star Driver.


John Cullington

The Yellow Corvette

yellow corvette

While driving on Interstate 5 in Southern California just south of the 405 merger near Mission Viejo, a brand new yellow Corvette caught my eye.  Traffic was backed up and moving very slow, as is usual in this area.  I positioned myself in the #3 lane because it was obvious to me that this lane was moving faster than the #1 or #2 lanes.  The yellow Corvette was several hundred yards ahead of me and was darting in and out of the #1 and #2 lanes, cutting off other drivers and making them brake suddenly.  Because my lane was moving a little faster, it didn’t take long to pull up next to him even though he continued to try and catch any little space that might get him ahead of the next car.

I looked over at his license plate and it read:


Well, one would assume that this middle-aged gentleman probably attended and graduated from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), at least that’s what I assumed.  Then I began to wonder:

Why doesn’t this presumably intelligent man just get into the lane that’s moving faster instead of risking an accident with his nice new yellow Corvette by darting in and out of slower moving traffic?

I kept observing this gentleman for about 10 more minutes through my rear view mirrors, he continued to cut in and out of the #1 and #2 lanes until I was too far ahead to see him.  I then began to wonder:

Did the MIT on his license plate mean something different like:

Motorist in Training?

I guess I’ll never know.  One thing I do know, most drivers think that because they have a driver’s license, they automatically know everything there is to know about driving.  The qualifications to pass a driver’s license test are at best, the equivalent of a One Star Driver.

A Five Star Driver should be every driver’s goal.  Please check out my new

5 Star Driver Video Training Program at

John Cullington


Am I Ready to Take My Drive Test?

I picked up Marina, a 19 year-old college freshman who was learning to drive.  This was her first driving lesson with an instructor but she had driven with her older sister a few times.  Marina seemed eager to “prove” to me she was already a good driver so I would give a good report to her father, fast-tracking her path to that all important California driver’s license.

Only one problem, she wasn’t a good driver.  Although she could operate my car with relative ease, she quickly learned that “operating a vehicle” and “driving a vehicle” are quite different.  Knowing how to stop at a 4-way stop-sign intersection didn’t give her the understanding of when it was her turn to go, the confusion and resulting close calls were immediately apparent.  Our entire lesson was filled with examples of these confusions relating to many different aspects of the driving experience.

When the lesson concluded, Marina looked at me with a big smile and asked, “Do you think I can pass my driving test”?

smiling girl in a car
Click on Image

I politely explained that she wasn’t ready to take her test and that she was still in the learning process.  I thought to myself:

How can a smart young girl ask a question like that after all of the examples of her
“not being a competent driver” were presented during the lesson?

Because she didn’t know what she didn’t know.

Marina had just completed her college freshman year so I asked,
“If your university offered you your 4-year BA / BS degree certificate right now without having to complete the next three years, would you accept it”?
Without hesitation she answered, “absolutely not”.

I asked her why and she said,
“I wouldn’t have the knowledge or skills I would need to pursue my career”.

I told Marina that since she would have a BA / BS certificate to show she was qualified, she could still pursue her career and her response was, “But I wouldn’t know what I was doing so it would be a very short career”.

I smiled and said, “Well, the minimum qualification to pass a drive test is like getting a 4-year degree after only one year but with one difference……if you don’t know what you’re doing in a car, it can kill you.  The drive test is only about 8 minutes and does not test the competency of a driver”.

Marina’s smiling face transformed into a more serious and concerned face….she was really thinking about what I said.  I hope Marina stops looking at the driver’s license as the goal and starts looking at becoming a 5 Star driver as the goal, her life may just depend on it.

concerned girl in car
Click on Image

If you’re interested in helping your new driver become a 5 Star Driver, pick up my new
Creating a 5 Star Driver…Beyond Driver’s Ed™ Driver Training Video Series.

Click on Image

John Cullington

Why Video Games Stop the Desire and Make it Difficult to Learn Driving

Thirty years ago, you couldn’t find a 15 year-old teenage boy who wasn’t counting down the days until he could get his driver’s license. Today, large numbers of teenage boys (and some teenage girls) just don’t seem to be interested in getting their drivers licenses and in fact, many parents are forcing them to take driving lessons against their will.

Why does this happen? After teaching thousands of teenagers to drive, I’ve discovered that the teenagers, the ones that really don’t care about a getting a driver’s license, are almost 100% of the time videogamers. But it’s not limited to just videogamers, teenagers who spend a great deal of time on computers, smartphones, and gameboy type of devices are usually just as reluctant to learn how to drive.

To explain this situation, I’ll borrow a little information from my new Video Driver Training Program. We have two types of vision, peripheral and direct. Direct vision is the highly focused narrow part of your vision for sharp detail while peripheral vision is the non-focused wide part of your vision covering about 170° – 180° of the area ahead. Peripheral vision is also used to detect motion.

The problem arises from the visual search pattern created by constantly looking at electronic screens. All electronic screens have borders, 100% of the information presented is confined within the borders of those screens while 0% of the information is presented outside of the screen border. Playing videogames for years and staring at screens for long periods of time, these teenagers develop a hyper-focused direct vision while completely shutting off their peripheral vision (how many times have you walked into a room where someone was playing a video game and they didn’t see you when they should have?). The pattern of only looking straight ahead while completely shutting off peripheral vision creates a dangerous visual search pattern for driving.

video gamer

When one of these tunnel vision videogaming teenagers gets behind the wheel for the first time, most parents and driving instructors are completely scared and baffled as to where they should begin because there seems to be no control or common sense by the new teenage driver whatsoever. The new teenage driver stares straight ahead (like they’re looking at a videogame screen) without turning their head or moving their eyes side-to-side. In videogames, the picture on the screen moves to the teenager’s eyes. In driving, the teenager’s eyes must be trained to move to see the picture. I’ve retrained many students after they’ve tried and failed to learn at some of the cheap driving schools so please, if a driving instructor ever says your teen can’t learn, it may be that he doesn’t have the skills to teach them. Don’t be discouraged, find a competent instructor or learn how to do it yourself through the program.

The cure is to change the visual search pattern of the new driver. The new driver is attempting to drive only by their hyper-focused direct vision as their peripheral vision has been effectively shut off. These new drivers have peripheral vision, they just don’t trust it. Accomplished drivers use and trust their peripheral vision to know how far they are from another vehicle or maybe a bicyclist without having to look directly at them. Our peripheral vision “detects motion” and “lack of motion”, an incredibly important “problem detector” necessary for survival while sitting behind the wheel. However, when a driver doesn’t trust their peripheral vision, they resort to putting their direct vision on the vehicle or bicyclist often resulting in steering towards those things.

I am not a big fan of videogames because of the extremely dangerous effects they have on new drivers. If driving wasn’t the #1 killer of teenagers and if eighty percent (80%) of new drivers weren’t involved in a traffic accident in the first 3 years, then I might have a different opinion. I encourage parents to mothball the videogames and get your teenagers outside doing activities that will enhance the trust of their peripheral vision.

When a teenager crashes in a videogame, they hit the reset button without any consequences. When a teenager crashes while sitting behind the wheel of a real vehicle, there is no reset button, only consequences.

Please check out my new Video Driver Training Program and make sure your new teen driver is a 5 Star Driver.

John Cullington
Certified Driveologist™