Family Magazine

Learning to Drive

By Newsanchormom

Learning to Drive
It is really hard to think of any of my babies driving! Although, my eight-year-old says he drove a golf cart with dad. Is that legal? Probably not. I have a feeling he will be one who wants his license on his birthday. What do you think about graduated driver licensing programs? I say the more practice, the better!
FROM NBC: Graduated driver licensing programs are designed to teach teens the rules of the road -- while protecting them from dangerous situations -- like driving at night or with lots of friends in the car.

A new study finds these programs help prevent crashes for some teens -- but they increase the number of accidents among older teenage drivers. Researchers at the California DMV studied more than one hundred thousand accidents in which someone died when a teenager was driving.

They found graduated driver license programs prevented crashes among sixteen-year olds, but increased the risk for car accidents among eighteen-year olds.
Experts say they don't know why these programs are proving harmful among older teen drivers. They say more research is needed. Most of these programs start with teens being granted a license, but they can't drive at night or with multiple passengers.
They also spend more time supervised by an adult.
Researchers suspect having more time with a parent in the car helps at first -- but as teens age it may become detrimental because they can't learn how to make driving decisions on their own.
The researchers estimate that since enactment of the first program in 1996, GDL programs (weaker and stronger combined) have been associated with 1,348 fewer fatal crashes involving 16-year-old drivers and with 1,086 more fatal crashes involving 18-year-old drivers.
-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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