National Teen Driver Safety Week
Is there a younger driver in your life? This Week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, a nationwide campaign that encourages adults to connect with drivers 21 and under about safety issues.
This year NTSDW addresses the many drivers who delay getting their license until they are 18 or older, and there are more than you think. Some teens decide not to drive right away for economic reasons. Others – and their number is growing – just don’t feel they have a reason to start driving as soon as they come of age.
Delayed Licensing – Pros and Cons. Putting off driving has some advantages. With age comes maturity, and skipping the 16s and 17s means skipping years in which young people are likely to make poor decisions. Not driving also means more walking, bicycling, and public transport, all of which are healthier for the individual or the environment.
However, there are benefits to early licensing as well. High school Driver’s Ed programs can be very good. Young teens will also be supervised by their parents or other adults in their early driving lives. Graduated Driving License programs (GDL) give teens the chance to drive while placing restrictions on things like night driving and number and age of passengers – restrictions which help keep them safe as they test their “wings.”
And some teens who do not have licenses will make the incredibly bad decision to drive anyway.
If you are close to someone who has started driving after high school, encourage them to get the best training they can. It takes years to make a good driver of a novice, so they will need to create their own GDL in order to stay safe as their knowledge and reactions improve with experience.
The good news is, a later start can still be a very good start.