Better Drivers Education for Teens
More and more teens are getting their drivers license without the benefit of studying the rules of the road. Read on and find out why teens are opting out of drivers education.
Getting a license at 16 years old used to be the ultimate freedom. Gone were the days of mom schlepping you to the mall to meet up with your friends. You could do it yourself with the kind of ID that offered it all. Who needed a Huffy to head across town for a trip to the grocery store? You certainly didn’t. You were in the driver’s seat of your own destiny. You could go anywhere once you turned 16.
Teens See a Delay as OK
However, there’s a shift in what that freedom means today. For a lot of teenagers, getting a drivers license when they turn 17 or even 18 has become much more common. And recent studies show they have a few reasons to put off getting their license:
- Dealing with the demands of high school and homework
- Fewer school-based programs that support drivers education
- Difficulty buying/owning a car because of a tough economy, and
- Lacking the funds to pay high gas prices and car insurance premiums
Plus, some teens just don’t see the importance of getting a license at 16 anymore—even if they have the means to do it. And by delaying the quest to obtain their license, it’s become a lot easier to opt out of teenage drivers ed altogether. One study even found that more than 1 in 5 U.S. teens never took drivers education before getting their licenses. Are there risks that come with this kind of non-action? The data is still unclear.
More or Less of a Threat on the Road
Though drivers license requirements deal more with passing a written exam and an actual driving test behind the wheel, the education teens may need in order to pass these tests is not required by every state. Research even suggests that teens who didn’t take drivers ed but still got their licenses aren’t necessarily making our roads any less safe. And, whether more states decide to support drivers education programs by funding them in their schools and whether that will result in fewer crashes is also still up for debate.
Updating the Curriculum Offers More Safety in Numbers
It’s important to note that the basic curriculum for drivers education programs has gone relatively unchanged for more than 50 years. Improving and updating their overall course model, along with a continued effort of supervised practice driving, is a start for gaining more traction among teen drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Ultimately, it’s the focus on education that can help enlighten teens to study and become better drivers. The safe teenage driver is one who has all the tools they need at their disposal. And better drivers education is the key to safer roads and a more informed mindset while in the driver’s seat.
The Benefits of Taking an Online Course
Teens must keep in mind that taking a driver training course is the best way to start a life of driving. It’s designed to teach them to be safe and responsible drivers. What’s more, they can look forward to learning about the following:
- Vehicle basics
- Dashboard controls, pedals and mirrors, and basic automobile maintenance
- Important rules of the road
- Signs, signals, merging, turning, and parking
- Safe driving in different weather conditions
- City traffic vs. country traffic vs. highway traffic and the differences between each
- How to minimize in-car distractions and the dangers of distracted driving
- The effects that drugs and alcohol have on driving