Novice Drivers Safety Facts
Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of young people. The situation is most dangerous for 16-year olds. A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found motor vehicle crash rates were decreasing for every age group except those 16 years of age.
At 16, young people are getting their driver's license. Compared to the past, today's teens have greater access to a car and are exposed to more high-risk driving situation, such as night driving. As a whole, teens are more willing to take risks and less likely to use safety belts. Additionally, they are more likely to underestimate the dangers associated with hazardous situation and less able to cope with such dangers.
A decline in driver's education has made a bad situation worse. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), because of budgetary cutbacks and reduced federal aid, only half of the high schools in the U.S. offer driver education, down from about 75% in the mid-1970s.
Traditionally, states have required beginning drivers to have very little experience before obtaining a driver's license. IT is becoming increasingly clear to licensing agencies and highway safety experts that the only thing standing between a teen and a car is the parent's written consent on the learner's permit an access to an automobile.
In an age of two-parent working families and single parent families, the newest driver in the family is viewed as a benefit for running errands, picking up siblings or taking themselves to activities and school.
What is the answer to the novice driver problem? It is a question that is gaining more and more attention as states pass graduated licensing laws mandating, among other things, that parents spend a minimum number of hours practicing with their novice driver.
The majority of parents are concerned about their children and want to make sure they are safe behind the wheel. But there are many constraints to providing adequate practice.
- Lack of time for both adults and novice drivers.
- Pressures of work and day-to-day living.
- Lack of knowledge, tools and resources on how to provide guided practice.
- The stress of spending time with the teen.