by Amy Tjaden News Editor

I experienced a sudden flashback to my teens today. I’m sitting behind the wheel of a car, struggling to give it gas and let off the clutch in just the right motion so as not to stall it. The problem is that the car is at a stop sign that happens to be at the top of a hill. The incline is making it difficult for me, a novice, to get the car up the hill without stalling. My anxious and rather impatient dad is strapped into the passenger seat.

Teaching teens to drive is a milestone every parent dreads…er…I mean faces. I’m sure many parents and their children have amusing stories to share in regard to their first driving experiences.

I found it interesting to read that while parents are able to teach their teens the mechanics of driving; most states do not allow them to teach the classroom portion of driver’s education. What makes this even more interesting is that a study done in 2000 has shown that those teens whose parents taught them driver’s training had fewer speeding tickets, fewer accidents and fewer incidents with driving under the influence.

Many public schools are dropping their driver’s education programs, forcing parents to pay for commercial driving schools. This seems silly since parents are quite capable of teaching the same material themselves.

Adults drive every day. They are allowed to get into a moving car with an inexperienced teen and guide them through traffic. But they aren’t allowed to teach them the classroom portion of driver’s education? Why? What qualifies one to teach that subject?

Our high school driver’s education teacher was the shop teacher and he was no more qualified to teach that material than any other adult I knew. He just happened to get saddled with the job. He didn’t spend much time on the material, preferring to use the period to goof off. This meant I took the material home where I worked on it with my parents.

A disturbing statistic states that while traffic deaths have declined among the general population, more 16-year-olds are dying in car crashes than ever before. Who better than the teen’s own parent to make sure they’re prepared for getting behind the wheel of a car?

There is this annoying trend for government to step in and tell parents what is best for their children because apparently parents aren’t competent enough to already know that. This is just one more example of that.

Copyright 2009

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