Why Is Driver’s Education Not Required?
If you are a new driver or have a family member preparing to receive a license, you may have realized that South Carolina is one of several states that don’t require applicants to pass a driver’s education course in order to receive a license. While many prospective drivers still complete training before applying for a license, recent studies have found that more than 50 percent of all applicants may not have completed any formal hands-on training and approximately 33 percent won’t have completed any driver’s education classroom instruction. There are many reasons why lawmakers are fighting to change the laws in South Carolina in order to require all driver’s license applicants to complete training before being allowed on the road.
Higher Teen Fatality Rates
One study finds that teenagers are much more likely to die in car crashes than more experienced drivers. Each day, vehicle crashes kill an average of six teens. One third of young drivers crash a car during the first six months after receiving a license. Drivers between the ages of 25 and 69 are four times less likely to be involved in fatal incidents than teen drivers ages 16 to 19. The National Safety Council has also reported that 50 percent of all teens who have not graduated from high school will be involved in an accident. These findings are part of the push to ensure that teens receive more time in training behind the wheel of a vehicle before being given a license.
Increased Incidents for Uneducated Drivers
When it comes to traffic fines, another study found that drivers who did not receive formal education had a 75 percent higher chance of receiving a traffic ticket. Accidents were also higher in this group, with drivers having a 16 percent higher chance of being involved in an accident and 24 percent higher chance of that accident resulting in an injury or fatality. The study reported that citations related to alcohol and other moving violations followed similar trends among uneducated drivers.
Studies released in the 1980’s indicated that taking driver’s education courses had little effect on driving outcomes, causing states to cut funding. Recent reports state otherwise and emphasize the need for increased training. Lawmakers in South Carolina are pushing to make driver’s education mandatory before any applicant can receive a license. Doing so may help lower the number of teen crashes as well as those involving uneducated drivers of any age. More required experience can only mean safer roads for all drivers.