Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Teenage Driving Policy

Having lived in an era and state where getting your license the day you turn sixteen, then getting lost on your way home, was a rite of passage, I'm a little heartened by the news that recent efforts to curb teen driving have merely shifted fatalities from 16- & 17- to 18- and 19- year olds. So let the 16-year old's drive!

If the real cause of teen traffic fatalities isn't age so much as experience, perhaps the thing to do is begin the learning process earlier, perhaps in some sort of driving simulator. Forza Motorsports and Need for Speed probably won't teach the best driving habits, so maybe the DOT should make it's own not-racing driving game.


Ursula said...

If only there were some video game that taught the use of apostrophes...

Don K said...

From what I've read, part of the problem is that kids these days aren't so hot to get their licenses, so many of them delay it until they're 18 or older which, in Michigan at least, sidesteps the whole graduated license process.

In principle, the GDL should address the experience issue, but I'd bet most parents aren't real keen on taking the kid out for some driving (part of the required 50 hours) when it's raining, snowing, icy, or during rush hour. I'm guessing almost all of those 50 hours are done in clear, dry weather, on non-congested suburban streets, which kind of defeats the purpose, because you really don't want the kids to freak out the first time they encounter slick conditions or rush-hour traffic. To tell you the truth, some of the most productive training time for a teenager would be spent on an empty parking lot after a snow storm, to let the young driver see what it feels like when the car loses traction, and let her or him know how to stay under control.