Study: Driver’s Education Has Drastic Effect On Teen Crash Rates

drivers educationIt may seem obvious that taking a drivers education course can help keep you safe when you’re on the road. But you might be surprised by how many teens forgo formal drivers ed to learn from a relative or family friend. A report published back in 2012 found that only one in five teens in the U.S. took drivers education classes prior to obtaining their licenses. But we now know definitively that taking drivers ed can significantly reduce the number of car crashes and ticket violations that new drivers face.

According to a 2015 study out of the Nebraska Prevention Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, teens who learn to drive without taking a drivers ed course are 75% more likely to get a traffic ticket, 24% more likely to sustain an injury or die in a car crash, and 16% more likely to have an accident in the first place.

The eight-year study, which involved 150,000 teen drivers, found that 53% of participants took a state-approved beginner driving course; the rest logged their required 50 hours of driving under parental or adult supervision. The first group had far fewer accidents and tickets during their first year of driving than those who had no formal instruction.

For example, of teens who took drivers ed, 11.1% were involved in a crash during that first year. Of those who did not take a formal course, 12.9% were involved in accidents. Around 10.4% of students who had taken a driving course were ticketed for moving traffic violations, while 18.3% of teens who learned from a parent or other adult received tickets for these violations. In addition, similar trends were seen for alcohol-related violations during the second year of driving.

Since teens between the ages of 16 and 19 already have fatality rates four times those of drivers aged 25 to 69, parents need to do everything they can to ensure their new drivers are safe when behind the wheel. While guardians might believe they’re in the best position to teach their children how to drive, these teens will likely receive a more comprehensive education with a trained trainer. From legislation changes to learning to make informed decisions in the car, teens who take drivers ed are typically set up to become better, safer drivers.

To learn more about our Arizona drivers education classes for teens, adults, and new drivers of all kinds, contact Driving Arizona today.

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