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Would more training reduce accidents?

You may know that most car accidents are caused by driver error. This leads to an easy hypothesis: More training could cut back on accidents. Well-trained drivers wouldn't make as many mistakes.

But does it hold up? Not according to some researchers.

They found that the standard driver training programs, which typically consist of 30 hours learning in a classroom and another six hours driving with the instructor on the road, don't even have a big impact. The rate of accidents caused by licensed drivers falls by an estimated 5 percent over the initial year that a person has his or her license. The researchers warned that the impact could be closer to 0 percent than even such a meager result suggests.

As such, they also said that increasing the number of hours students spend in the classroom or on the road won't change accident rates. Instead, they said that the programs need to focus on risk-taking behaviors, which are common with young drivers, and on changing their attitudes about driving.

The suggestion is that young drivers knowingly take risks that lead to mistakes. It's not an issue of ignorance, which could be ironed out with more training. A young driver who goes 75 miles per hour in a 45 miles per hour zone knows that he or she is massively breaking the speed limit; that driver just does not care and takes the risk anyway.

As long as these types of attitudes persist, accident rates may not decline. It's very important for those who are injured in these crashes to know what legal rights they have.

Source: Science Direct, "Do driver training programs reduce crashes and traffic violations? — A critical examination of the literature," Raymond C.Peck, accessed Feb. 16, 2018

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