I don’t know how many which ways from Sunday I need to say or repeat this, but preparing a new driver for the realities of today’s roadways takes more than minimum requirements. Driving is the most dangerous activity that any one of us does on a daily basis. Now consider a novice driver in circumstances they just aren’t prepared to encounter, the results can be devastating. Can they pass the test with a little practice and ability to maneuver a vehicle? Yes they can, but if passing the MVD test is your barometer for whether your child is ready to be licensed, I would suggest you look more closely at what that test entails.
Lately I have had more than my share of conversations with parents that are clueless about the realities of what is happening on the streets of Arizona and around the country. In 2012, 176 young people between the ages of 15 and 24 were killed and 12,048 were involved in injury crashes*. This is Arizona alone. The number of young drivers dying on U.S. roadways is staggering and the injury statistics are outrageous, yet parents continue to look for the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to get their kids licensed so they don’t have to cart them around anymore. Again, I suggest you talk to a parent that has lost a child to a car crash, they will give you a whole new perspective. There is never a guarantee that anyone that takes to the roads will not be in a crash, however, there is so much more we can do to prepare new drivers to be safe on the roadways.
My recommendation is to do your research. Learn more about the issues that surround teen driving and make informed choices. Driving is much more complex than knowing the basics of maneuvering a vehicle, making right and left turns or maintaining lane position. Yes, those are important skills, but more important are observation and planning and the ability to make strategic decisions in one or two seconds. These are the life saving skills.
*Arizona 2012 Crash Facts