In comparison to the rigors of licensing in other countries, getting a driver’s license in the United States is simple for teenagers. However, a lack of driver education has left them more unprepared than ever to assume the responsibility of driving an automobile.
According to a 2021 study conducted by Zutobi Drivers Education, only Mexico, Qatar, and Latvia made it easier for drivers to obtain a license than the United States, which has the world’s second largest vehicle population.
State licensing requirements differ significantly. Drivers in New Mexico can obtain a license after completing 57 hours of classroom instruction and no actual driving. Students 18 and older are exempt from taking a road test in Wisconsin, Mississippi, and other states if they have a learner’s permit and have driven a certain number of hours with adults.
After the age of 18, drivers in Florida do not need a learner’s permit if they pass the road test.
It’s more difficult in Michigan, where drivers must complete two segments of required classes, followed by 30 hours of supervised practice driving, including at least two hours at night in between. To get a full license, they need to work 20 more hours, including eight at night.
California has even stricter licensing requirements. Before taking a driving test, drivers must complete 30 hours of classroom instruction, six hours of driver training with an instructor, and 50 hours of practice, including 10 hours at night.
According to a 2019 study conducted by Volvo and the American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association (ADTSEA), public driver’s education was available to 95 percent of students in the 1970s. Only ten states now provide free driver education.
More than half of respondents (52%) believe driver education is out of date, and one in every three licensed drivers reported spending less than 20 hours behind the wheel before taking their driving test.
Drivers in the United Kingdom can obtain a provisional license at the age of 15 years and nine months. Drivers must be supervised, and vehicles must display “L” plates denoting a learner. Students are not permitted to drive on highways unless they are accompanied by a driving instructor and have dual controls (one on each side of the front row of seats) in the vehicle. They then take driving lessons and prepare for a written exam. In addition, after the age of 17, they must pass an on-road test to obtain a full license. Keep an eye on
Before obtaining a learner’s permit in Australia, drivers must be 16 years old and pass a driver knowledge test. Following that is a provisional 1 (P1) license, which requires 120 supervised driving hours, 20 of which must be at night. Before receiving a second provisional license, these drivers must also pass a Hazard Perception Test (P2). Both provisional licenses limit the number of passengers and the power that the car can deliver based on its weight. P2s are also unable to drive a modified vehicle. After another 24 months, those drivers will be able to obtain their full, unrestricted license.
According to AAA, Texas teen drivers were involved in more fatal crashes than any other state’s young drivers. From 2010 to 2019, there were 2,318 teen driver fatalities on Texas highways. In general, new teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 17 are three times more likely than adults to be involved in a fatal crash.
During the 2021-2022 Regular Session, Republican Representative Chris Quinn of Pennsylvania’s 168th district introduced House Bill 1244 to modernize and streamline the system. The Private Driver Education or Training School Act of the 1950s established driver training in the state. It, like many others, was established through the public education system.
The new bill states that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will be in charge of driver training programs and the licensing of driving instructors, effectively repealing the original 1951 law. It will be able to abbreviate the process to become an instructor, which can take up to 12 months, putting a burden on driving schools.