Teenagers first learn the basics regarding the road by attending driver’s ed. An instructor tells them the rules, shows them the ropes and talks about statistics. They watch safety videos. They take tests and quizzes. The goal is to make sure that these young people know how to drive safely when they actually get on the road.
The classroom portion of the class is then followed by time actually spent driving with an instructor. Once a student has done this, they get a learner’s permit to drive with their parents, and then they can finally take the test to get a license.
This sounds like it would all work, and there are many layers to the program, but does it really go far enough? Are we really putting safe drivers on the road?
The criticism of these programs
These programs actually face quite a bit of criticism. Some say that they don’t do enough. Others claim that the goal is to allow people to pass, not to make sure they’re safe. Still others claim that the program is outdated and no longer works. Many simply don’t think that drivers have to practice for long enough before being allowed to drive on their own.
There is evidence that young people are the most dangerous drivers, with their excessively high crash rates. This is often attributed to a lack of experience. Without it, young drivers make mistakes. Should the driver’s ed program take longer and give them more experience in a controlled setting, with an instructor, to try and get these accident rates a bit lower?
It’s hard to know how much that would help. True experience comes when someone is allowed to drive on their own. They have no one else to count on. They can’t ask questions. They just have to learn how to drive as they go, and this learning process turns them into safer drivers as they get older. More education may help speed that process along, but young people are still going to be the least experienced drivers when they get a license.
Have you been injured?
Have you been hit by an inexperienced driver? If you’re injured, be sure you know what legal rights you have to compensation.