Can defensive driving prevent teenage motor vehicle accidents? How important is learning defensive driving techniques for young drivers? Defensive driving techniques have an established record of preventing accidents. These benefits are significant for teenage drivers who take driver's education courses that focus on these lessons and techniques as teens learn to drive.
The Effectiveness of Driver's Education
In 2015, a study published in the journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention examined the effectiveness of driver's education in reducing accident risk. The study examined just under 152,000 teen drivers who took courses from 2003 to 2010. Researchers determined that drivers who did not take courses were 75% more likely to receive a traffic ticket and 24% more likely to become involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident.
In all, 11.1% of those who took driver's education courses were involved in a motor vehicle accident as opposed to 12.9% for those who didn't take courses. 2.1% of driver's education graduates were involved in fatality or injury accidents as opposed to 2.6% of non-graduates. Finally, 10.4% of driver's education graduates received a moving traffic violation as compared to 18.3% of non-graduates.
Adding in the Advantage of Graduated Driver's Licenses
Graduated driver's licenses make it possible for parents to monitor teen drivers as they learn to drive. National Institute of Health data shows that these programs reduce fatal accidents in 16 and 17-year-old drivers by 8-14%. One reason for this is these licensing programs give teen drivers more time to learn defensive driving principles from parents and guardians.
The Principles of Defensive Driving
The first principle of defensive driving is to remain focused and alert on the road. Avoiding distractions and focusing on road conditions, vehicle speed, traffic conditions, and posted signs is vital to a safe trip.
Drivers should always remain cognizant of the actions of other drivers. It is imperative to watch for vehicles that are veering from their lane of travel, exhibiting erratic speed control, and for drivers who are acting aggressively. When motorists encounter these threats, it is advisable to take proactive measures such as slowing down or exiting the roadway to avoid the danger.
Young drivers should also learn to follow the 3-4 second rule and maintain safe driving distances even in heavy traffic. This provides sufficient stopping time in most conditions. In bad weather, increasing this to 6 seconds or more can also help prevent a crash.
It is also crucial to teach young drivers proper speed control and the importance of adhering to posted speed limits. Speeding is one of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents and it is entirely preventable.
Call Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400 for more on the benefits of defensive driving for teenage drivers. We provide legal consultations on weekends, holidays and at night. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.