What is the answer to this growing problem? The schools claim they don't have the funds for Intensive Driving Courses, so they are putting both our children and other road users at risk. Is there an answer? In some states, Delaware included, a graduated license took effect in 2001. What this means is a person under the age of 18 does not hold a full license for one year. During the first six months, they are not allowed to drive after 6:00 pm unless they are with a licensed driver over the age of 25. During the last six months, they are not allowed out after 9:00 pm unless they are going to school, church, or work. It also states there is to be no more than two passengers under the age of 25 in the car while the teen is driving. Different states have variations, but that is the simple explanation of how it works in general. Some states don't feel the need since they already offer Intensive Driving Courses. In Massachusetts, for example, 76 hours of on the road experience is required in order to pass the course. That's certainly much better than twenty hours, isn't it? What I want to know is why most of the states don't see the need for intensive driving courses, and why they feel crash driving courses are adequate. With the number of accidents on the road increasing at an alarming rate, shouldn't we at least want the new drivers to have the best education that we can provide? It is our responsibility as parents to keep our children safe, yet we allow them to drive on the crowded roads without having adequate over the road experience.
Our insurance rates reflect the fact that our teenagers are inexperienced. Perhaps if the education for driving were to be intensified, the insurance rates for drivers under 25 wouldn't be as high. Strangely, there are different rates for boys than girls, and though some may call this sexist, I call it reality. You only have to look around on any given day and see that teenage boys show off more when they are behind the wheel of a car than girls do. That doesn't mean girls never do, it just means that statistically boys are guilty of it more often, and therefore the insurance rates are set accordingly. If we want to change that and protect our children, we must do something to ascertain that they receive enough driver's education before they begin driving alone.