Parent Taught Driver’s Education Saves Lives
Maybe your son just turned 15. He cannot wait to drive. Although you are not too confident he will be ready to drive anytime soon, you know it is too difficult to delay his driving until he is 18.
Or your daughter is already 16 and you are thinking how wonderful it will be to have her do some errands for you so you can spend less time as the family chauffeur.
Perhaps you heard about a recent major accident where two young drivers were badly injured and one was killed. Apparently, the inexperienced driver became distracted and lost control of the vehicle. These are the types of stories you have heard many times before in the news.
A father in your church bemoans the fact that his daughter recently crashed the family car for the second time. Fortunately, only the car was damaged, and no one was hurt. But his insurance rates are going up and his car is in the shop again.
Deep down you are worried about your children. You know young inexperienced drivers are dangerous. The statistics demonstrate teenagers cause a large portion of accidents.
If children who take public school or commercial driver courses are causing all of these accidents, what can you do differently to better train your children how to drive?
How about doing it yourself? After all, you teach your children in all other subjects. You and your spouse taught them how to walk, talk, read, write, figure, research, be self-disciplined, do hundreds of types of chores, numerous skills, and to know and live by God's absolute moral standards.
Why not teach your children how to drive?
Driver’s Education: Traditional Programs Are Failing
Although all 50 states have laws regarding driver’s education, statistics demonstrate the current methods are not working. More 16-year-old drivers are dying in vehicle crashes than ever before, even though the number of traffic deaths has declined among the driving populace in general. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 2006, 6,964 people were killed in crashes involving young drivers ages 16-20, and 3,374 young drivers ages 16-20 were killed in 2005.
Such injuries are by far the leading public health problem for young people 13 19 years old. The crash risk is particularly high during the first years in which teenagers are eligible for driver’s licenses.
The problem is worse in the United States than in many other countries because we allow teenagers to get drivers licenses and cars at an earlier age than in most other countries, and little driving experience is required before these licenses are issued. Licenses are also inexpensive and easy to obtain.
In 2001, I traveled to Germany to help local homeschoolers establish their own German homeschool legal defense organization. I learned that it is very difficult for young people to obtain drivers licenses. Not only must a student be 18 to obtain a license, but it costs over $1,500!
In America, the risk of crash involvement per mile driven among drivers 16-19 years old is four times the risk among older drivers. Risk is highest at ages 16 and 17. In fact, the crash rate per mile driven is almost three times as high among 16-year-olds as it is among 18-19-year-olds.
Crashes involving young people typically are single vehicle crashes that involve driver error and/or speeding, and usually result in the vehicle being run off the road.
A study on driver education conducted by George Mason University in Virginia (cited below) sheds light on the reasons why teenagers are susceptible to driving mishaps:
Teens, on their part, view driving as a right rather than a privilege. Overwhelmingly, study participants cited teen drivers’ inexperience as well as their feeling of invincibility and willingness to take risks as contributing factors in unsafe driving behaviors. Participants also noted that teen drivers are easily distracted and lack the skills and judgment necessary to recover from unexpected incidents.
Reprinted with the permission of the Home School Legal Defense Association. © 1996-2008 HSLDA.
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