Driver Instruction and Education

Overview

Currently there are 125 million cars on the road in the U.S. Not surprisingly every five seconds a car crash occurs and every 12 minutes someone dies from car crash-related injuries. Rather than accept these figures the U.S. government attempts to improve upon them with a vigorous campaign to heighten awareness by stressing the importance of driver instruction and education.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) leads the government's educational charge. Through this department's efforts 46 states and the District of Columbia now implement a three-stage graduated driver license (GDL) system for educating teen drivers.

Based on NHTSA studies showing that traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in America, each state now mandates specific learners permit requirements with an emphasis on driver responsibility. Many states now require learners permit candidates to be of a certain age, provide parental or guardian consent and have proof of driver education.

These NHTSA studies are also used for developing content for state driver manuals, which serve as the blueprints for permit tests and even practice permit tests. The importance of these exams is not the grade, but in their ability to teach beginner drivers basic road rules, the bedrock of safe driving practices.

The influence of the NHTSA also carries over to driver ed. The National Driver Education Standard Project, a branch of the NHTSA, has developed a national curriculum in which all driver ed programs are now based. Thanks to its work, all state-sanctioned driver education courses now have a set number of hours in which students must spend behind the wheel, observing and in classroom training.

State Drivers license testing has become more thorough due to NHTSA findings on driver safety. No longer are road tests based on parallel parking and stopping at stop signs. Now driver test examinations also take into account safe driving techniques like following distances, acceleration and lane selection and positioning.

The NHTSA also focuses on improving the safety of motorcyclists through a three-pronged program that focuses on preventing crashes, reducing crash-related injuries, and limiting the serious nature of injuries through better emergency medical response.

And under the guidance of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) CDL training programs now have stricter standards for issuing commercial licenses. In addition, the FMSCA also sponsors numerous CDL programs Brake Safety, Cargo Securement, Speed Management with the intent of improving highway safety for all drivers.

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Driver Instruction And Education Information From the Government

Driver Instruction And Education - NHTSA

Driver Instruction And Education - About.com

Driver Instruction And Education - DMVAnswers.com

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