Driver Education Practices in Selected States [Traffic Tech]
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Driver Education Practices in Selected States [Traffic Tech]

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      Teen drivers have the highest crash rate per mile driven of any age group (Williams, Ferguson, & Wells, 2005). Immaturity and inexperience are two explanations for why novice teen drivers have such a high crash risk (Arnett, 1992; Mayhew, Simpson, & Pak, 2003; McCartt, Mayhew, & Ferguson, 2006). Immaturity includes the heightened risk-taking behaviorteens exhibit. Lack of experience has been linked to crashes regardless of the age at which driving starts. High crash risk by teens can be accounted for both by immaturity and inexperience acting simultaneously. Both explanations can account for the higher teen crash risks at night, due to speed, with passengers, and on slippery roads, for example. Immaturity can lead teens to speed, drive recklessly in high-risk situations, and to succumb to peer pressure. Inexperience can be especially problematic in difficult driving situations and when there are a greater number of distractions. Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) systems have been shown to be effective in reducing the high crash rates among teen drivers. GDL systems gradually introduce teen drivers to more risky driving situations over time. GDL components usually include a learner’s permit during which driving is allowed only with a parent or instructor, nighttime restrictions that limit late night driving, limitations on the number of passengers teens may carry, a specified period of unsupervised driving without crashes or violations (intermediate license), and prohibition of use of any electronic device while driving.
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