The idea of our program started in the United States Air Force. What seems to be a growing concern and serious problem with airmen in the United States Air Force was their lack of ability to drive to and from the base with out getting into a crash. Numerous airmen completed driver education in high school, however the education and training systems being used in the public school systems and commercial driving schools was not working.
In fact, airmen that did not have driver education and training through public schools and commercial schools were involved in less crashes than the airmen that did complete drivers ed.
National Driver Training Institute’s Scientific Engineers of the National Driver program “ Help for the Teenager Who Wants to Drive” studied the causes of the crashes and the training processes used across the US to teach our young new drivers.
After many years of study and research the conclusion was that the problem with our young drivers did not exists within the young driver, but within the training process itself. So while we believe in our education process in the United States it hasn’t proven to be effective in teaching our teens to be collision and crash free.
The teaching process with in itself needed a major overhaul and not even one of our colleges in the United States teaching driver education and training had offered any new teaching methods or processes.
Several professors, Dr. Charles McDaniel, Dr. George Carmenanti and developers of the driver education establishments tried to correct the problem by offering new systems in the late 60’s and 70’s, however these new concepts were rejected because of funding issues and the need for new tooling and curriculum development.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety continued to improve ways to make our vehicles and safety equipment safer with better seat belts and safety seats, bumpers that would hold up better, collapsible steering wheels and safety glass, air bags that continue to out perform the year before and still deaths continue to rise in numbers, every year higher than the year before.
Two major changes took place in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Finally we are seeing a change in the numbers of fatal collisions. The first thing that occurred was the concept of Graduated Driver Licensing. This training process was modeled after flight school in the United States Air Force.
Home School Legal Defense Association | Michael Smith
Although home-schoolers have gained their freedom to teach their teens at home in every state, one issue continues to be an issue. It’s whether parents should be allowed to teach their teens how to drive.
Despite the freedom to teach every other subject at home, parents in most states are forbidden to teach classroom drivers education. (Maryland does not allow parents to teach the classroom portion of driver’s education, but Virginia does. The District has no classroom requirement.)
HSLDA strongly supports the position that since parents are able to teach all the other subjects and parents are responsible for the well-being and safety of their children, they also should have the right to teach their own teenagers the classroom part of drivers education.
It was not always this way. In the 1940s and ’50s, parents were the primary driver’s education teachers for their children. In the 1960s and ’70s, the focus shifted to school-taught drivers education programs. This shift was made in the hopes of assisting teenagers with their driving skills and tests. However, this has not improved teenage driving safety.
More 16-year-old drivers are dying in vehicle collisions than ever before, even though the number of traffic fatalities has declined among the driving population in general. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2006, 6,964 people were killed in collisions involving drivers age 16 to 20, and 3,374 drivers age 16 to 20 were killed in 2005.
The crash risk is particularly high during the first year a teenager is eligible for a drivers license. The problem is worse in the United States than in many other countries because we allow teenagers to get drivers licenses at an earlier age, and licenses are inexpensive and easy to obtain.
If there’s a better method of training teens to drive, shouldn’t parents be allowed to make that choice?
In October 2000, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs conducted a research project on the effectiveness of graduated driver licensing. In comparing teens who had completed a National Driver Training Institute Graduated Driver Licensing program with National Insurance Co. statistics for teen drivers, the study found the parent taught teens had fewer speeding tickets, fewer accidents, fewer tickets for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and fewer traffic fatalities.
The insurance industry and many state legislatures have been moving toward a system of graduated driver licensing, in which a student has certain restrictions imposed — they must drive with an adult in the car, for example — until they reach a certain age. The requirement for driver’s education has been maintained in many states as part of this program. Also, due to financial challenges, many public schools are dropping their driver’s education programs. This forces parents to pay for commercial driving schools when they could just do the job themselves.
If you live in a state that doesn’t provide for graduated driver licensing, the only way to change the law is through the legislature. At a time when our country needs to see more parent-child interaction, graduated driver licensing is the right step to encourage more quality time for parents with their teens.
We have no doubt the effectiveness of graduated driver licensing will become evident because of the same principles that make home-schooling successful academically. The tutorial method with the low student-teacher ratio and individualized instruction produces outstanding results.
The bottom line is that no one cares more about the safety of their children than the parent as no one has more to lose than the parent when a child is ill-prepared to receive a driver’s license.
If you would like to see your state adopt graduated driver licensing as an option, contact HSLDA at 540/338-5600 or www.hslda.org.