Many road accidents are caused by young drivers, largely because they lack driving experience. And young drivers’ brains are not as mature as older drivers, so they lack some of the sound judgment needed to exercise caution when driving.
Car crashes remain the leading cause of injury and death in adolescents, despite the fact that the number of teenagers killed in them dropped almost 50 percent in the last ten years.
A study conducted by the Journal of Adolescent Health found that teenagers new to driving were eight times more likely to crash in the first three months of getting a license than they were during the last three months when they only had a learner’s permit. They are also four times more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors like sudden braking and turning and rapid acceleration.
Driver education does help new drivers pass licensing examinations, but there is no indication that it actually produces safer drivers. Graduated driver licensing, however, can help reduce crash rates: it requires a specific number of driving hours with adult supervision, it restricts night driving, and it phases in demanding driving conditions.