The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

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Archives

Shifting gears for safety

Admin should offer driver’s ed for students

According to The Herrera Law Firm, out of the 50 states that make up the United States of America, Texas ranks 10th for the highest percentage of fatal crashes involving teens. Those who have not taken a driver’s education class have an increased risk of sustaining injuries or dying in car accidents of up to 70%, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. This leaves many teens, who, in some cases, may not have the time, energy, or resources to attend a private driving class, vulnerable to driving-related incidents.

To prevent rates of teen fatalities by car accidents from increasing, schools should offer a driver’s education class that replaces a semester’s credit of a PE class by partnering with their local car dealership for lessons inside of a vehicle and the Department of Public Safety for the student’s driver’s permit.

Texas requires a total of 76 hours of driver’s education for those under the age of 18 – with 32 of those hours spent learning in a classroom and the other 44 in a vehicle with an instructor. Students participating in multiple extracurriculars can find it difficult to meet the state’s requirements with the limited time they have. Giving these students a chance to convert the hours they spend in class to the ones they need to obtain their driver’s permit helps lower stress about whether or not they would have to abandon an activity they had dedicated themselves to prior.

Driving schools have a wide range of costs, with companies like the Austin Driving School pricing a 32-hour class at $250. Many families can find it difficult to afford driving lessons set at that kind of cost. Offering in-school classes that ask students to pay no more than $16 dollars to cover the cost of their learner’s permit can act as a viable, low cost option for families.

Furthermore, not all students have guardians that can provide a vehicle for them to practice with in order to obtain the 30 out of the 44 hours required by the state of Texas. A student’s guardian also may not have the time to teach them the skills they need to practice safe driving. If a school provided a driver’s education course that teaches a teen what they need to know both in class and on the road, both students and their families could benefit from it.

While some parents may have concerns about whether or not a school’s driver’s education class provides their students with enough experience to drive with others on the road, new drivers still have to take their driving test in order to receive a driver’s license from the state. The schools that implement this semester-long class do not force their sophomores to take the course, allowing families to take their teens to private lessons or teach them how to drive themselves if they choose.

To ease the tensions of doubtful parents concerned about the reliability of the course, schools can allow them to access the driver’s manual used in the class. This will give parents insight into the class’s curriculum, and they can bring any concerns to the attention of the driving instructor.

For the sake of protecting younger drivers from injuries or death while on the road, Texas schools should take into consideration the effectiveness of implementing driver’s education programs for sophomores driving in the near future.

 

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