Today, fewer teens participate in driver’s education programs than in years past. It’s no surprise, with these programs being incredibly expensive and, until now, very little proof existing that they actually helped. A new study conducted by AAA has found a way to measure the success of these programs, and the results are encouraging.

Common sense would lead most people to believe that driver’s education helps produce safe drivers, but until now, there hasn’t been enough information to make any real conclusions. The AAA study combined surveys, licensing tests, driving simulators, and a review of other records to determine that teen drivers who took driving education classes had increased knowledge about driving laws and safe driving practices compared to drivers who hadn’t taken any classes.

AAA’s research found that drivers’ education reduces teen crash rates by 4.3 percent and lowers the number of traffic tickets received by almost 40 percent. “One of the most common questions about drivers’ ed is, ‘Does it work,'” said Dr. William Van Tassel, manager of driver training programs at AAA. “We did find modest, but positive effects.”

Teens are statistically the most dangerous drivers, causing far more deadly accidents than any other age group. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, traffic crashes are the leading cause of unintentional death for U.S. residents between ages 15 and 24, causing nearly 7,000 deaths in 2011.

As parents, we must do everything we can to give our children the resources they need to be safe drivers. That means being involved in their driving education, being a good example, ensuring they have a safe car, and enrolling them in formal driver’s education programs.

Stop by Parks Mazda today to find a safe, reliable car for your teen.

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