Driver education classes for teens have historically been focused a lot on traditional classroom learning. But, might adding some real-world experiences into the mix help with better getting the message of the importance of acting safely behind the wheel across. This is what a recent study looked into.
Lately, there has been some movement towards including more real-world learning experiences in driver education. For example, supplemental programs have been cropping up which include experiences like having young drivers visit hospitals. The study looked at one such program.
The program in question involved going to a hospital and having the participants tour it and talk with staff about their experiences with car crash victims. Discussions, activities, and videos were also a part of the program. In total, it was a six-hour program.
As part of the study, researchers had 21 participants in the program fill out a survey about how they felt about various types of driving behavior before they took the program. As a note, these participants were in the program due to risky driving.
The researchers then looked at whether there were any changes in the participants’ safe driving awareness after they went through the program. The researchers found that the participants showed a higher awareness of the dangers of certain types of driving. They also showed a higher awareness of danger prevention techniques. This suggests reality-based programs are helpful when it comes to promoting safety awareness among young drivers.
There was an effort to follow-up with some of these participants a couple months after they went through the program. This follow-up, however, did not yield any conclusive findings on whether or not the increased awareness brought on by the program led to any changes in the participants’ driving behavior.
How effective the various driver education strategies out there are at increasing teen driver awareness of dangerous driving behaviors and promoting safe driving habits is a very impactful issue. Traffic accidents are a major cause of teen deaths, and unsafe driving by teens can put a lot of people in danger. So, curbing unsafe driving among teens is an extremely important goal. One wonders what further studies on the different types of driver education will indicate about what strategies are particularly helpful with this goal, and what practical insights parents and drivers education programs will be able to draw from such findings.