Drive Safe

Learning to drive The Sunshine Way is both fun and easy. We know all the really good tricks to creating good drivers. We also know everything that the DMV is looking for!

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Driver Training

The State Law requires a minimum of 6 hours of behind the wheel training, with a professional driving teacher. It also requires a minimum of 50 hours with Mom and Dad of which 10 hours have to be a night. Do you think you could learn how to play the piano well in 56 hours?

The job of a driving teacher

  1. Do Not let your students hit anything
  2. Do not let anything hit your student
  3. Proper seating position is essential for a good lesson
  4. Help the student relax
  5. Give good, simple, and clear directions in advance (Requires that the trainer has good seeing habits)
  6. Make corrections in a non-judgmental tone
  7. Voice coaching is very helpful when a student is confused (Novice teachers are usually weak here)
  8. Build the student’s confidence at every opportunity
  9. Show the student how to do the task correctly
  10. Show the student what they were doing wrong
  11. Many repetitions are necessary to learn a physical skill
  12. If a teacher knows what he is doing, he will be patient

What a good driving school (Sunshine) usually teaches in 6 hours. We divide the task into two aspects:

  1. Car Control
  2. Decision Making

Car Control

We start in light traffic with few distractions. We will teach our students how to tell where their tires are tracking so they can park next to the curb without hitting it and without guessing. Only 5% of drivers actually know how to do this. We will teach them how to judge 100 feet for signaling and when to begin their right and left turns (turning points), once again so they are not guessing. We will teach them that by looking ahead of the vehicle they will have the best control of the car. The tendency is to focus close to the car which creates a lot of problems in steering.

Remember when they first learned to ride a bike, they were focusing low which made it hard to balance. Driving a car is just like that. It takes about 200 turns before most students begin feeling comfortable with the car. This is accomplished in 5 to 6 hours with a good teacher. As the new driver begins to have a better feel for steering then we introduce backing in a straight line and some basic lane changes in light traffic. As they progress we work our
way gradually into more traffic including some traffic lights and two way and four way stops. We teach how to keep the correct distance when stopped behind a car and how to judge the space when moving behind other vehicles. Most drivers don’t know or practice this. As they progress we move into more traffic and include a little introduction to the freeway when appropriate (usually, on the second lesson).

Decision Making

The essence of driving is, knowing when to go, when to wait, who goes first, and should I go faster or slower. We begin this process in the six hour program, but the reason the State has the requirement of 50 hours is for your new driver to get plenty of practice with decision making. It takes 50 to 70 hours before the decision making becomes natural and easy. Many new drivers do not get enough of this kind of practice and as a result, fail the first test or two.

In our ten hour program we can teach most new drivers to make precise smooth turns and have very good car control and decent lane changes including freeway merges (we recommend about 20). Although some crashes are caused by bad control, the majority of serious crashes are caused by bad decision making.

In the defensive driving (we now refer to it as Conscious Driving) portion of our training, we teach our students scanning skills that they will hopefully keep and use for a lifetime. We will teach them to use the horn at the right time and in the appropriate way, to prevent conflicts. It is our goal to teach and inspire them not to speed or tailgate, and to drive so gracefully that Mom and Dad will fall fast asleep. If you have good basic skills, you will tend to improve with more experience. If you have sloppy skills you will just get sloppier. We all know licensed drivers that still scare us even though they have more than 20 years of experience.


"They taught me to drive like a champ!"
-Tobias Tune

"Thanks to Sunshine Driving School I aced my drivers test on the first try...with compliments from the examiner for avoiding and accident with remarkable reflexes!"
-Akka B, Poet

Oakland "This man taught me to drive when I first came to this country. Triple AAA+++, thank you Ken, for all your safe driving tips and your patience with me. Now I love to drive!"
-Indu Kline

"Ken is a great teacher. I was only 26 years old when I took his program. I had just come from New York and had never needed a car. Ken's instruction insured that I became a safe and happy driver! Thanks Ken!"
-Marilyn Mosley-Goranier: Educator, Ojai

"Ken taught me to drive in a month and a half at age 32. He also taught both of my children to drive. My daughter went on to drive buses while attending U.C. Santa Cruz. He is the best!"
-Jessica Watling-Murray

If you want to learn to drive this is the place to call! The skills you will gain will last a l lifetime. I have proof!
-Asha Tyska McLaughlin

"My daughter was 21 and was too scared to learn to drive. Sunshine Driving School was the only place where she felt safe enough to learn. Now she's a confident and safe driver. Thank you!"
-Debbie Godfrey, self employed

Ken and Sunshine Driving School were the best things that could have happened to me during learning to drive experience. After a horrible set of lessons from another local driving school, after which I vowed I would never drive again, Ken reestablished my confidence in my driving abilities. His calm demeanor assured me that I was always safe, and his encouragement (and occasional humor) helped me learn in a positive and constructive way. Folks, Ken is undoubtedly one of the best driving teachers out there. His experience shows in every lesson and interaction. It was a pleasure and honor to learn how to drive from Ken, especially after encountering the worst. Heck, I even passed my test first try!

I hope that this suffices! I could probably write you an in-depth 5 page paper if you really wanted it. I'm thinking a catchy title would be: KEN CORNELIUS, PRAISE BE UNTO HIM! :) hahaha.

I hope that you and all of your family is doing well. I recommend you to EVERYONE! Truly!

Best wishes always,
Olivia, Thacher Student

Contact Us

Sunshine Driving School
229 East Villanova Rd. Ojai, CA 93023

Tel: (8O5) 646-2113
Fax: (805) 646-6184


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