Sixteen is by far the most dangerous age on the road. A 16-year-old is twelve times more likely than older drivers to die in a crash as a single occupant. Put two young teens in a vehicle, and the odds of death and injury nearly double. Three or four unsupervised teens riding together constitute a recipe for disaster.
Despite these sobering facts, the procedure for obtaining a drivers license in most states remains minimal. Some don’t even require a learner’s permit. Some allow the permit to be obtained before age 16. Although some states have installed graduated licensing, with sensible restrictions for the youngest drivers, many still impose only the most minimal requirements.
The condition of formal driver education in America is no better. A small number of high schools operate relatively comprehensive programs that require parental involvement. But most have cut back driver ed. classes to the point where they can accommodate only a small portion of students. Even the lucky ones receive only a few hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. Commercial driving schools, even the most competent and conscientious among them, cannot possibly provide complete instruction.