Today’s Headlines

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • reasonableexplanation

    The stories about the “Ease of getting a License” talk about the ease of renting a truck, not the licensing for it.

    However, it made me wonder, is there any good evidence that making drivers license tests harder will reduce the crash rate?

    It sounds like a no-brainer, but think about how you are taught to drive to pass the driving test, and how it has very little to do with actual driving.

    I tried searching online, and I could only really find stuff regarding young and teen drivers. I did find this though: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0386111211000021

    There is no evidence or reason to believe that merely lengthening the number of hours on the road will increase effectiveness. Programs directed toward attitude change and risk taking better address the underlying cause of the elevated crash risk of young drivers but these behaviors are notoriously resistant to modification in young people.

    Somewhat related; who gets into more crashes, Americans that rent carts in Europe, or Europeans that rent cars in America? The European licensing tests are harder, so you’d expect the latter to be true. Is it?

  • Joe R.

    If anything that link just tells me we probably shouldn’t be licensing young people to drive at all. I’ve read your adult brain isn’t fully developed until at least 25, often not until your early 30s. Anecdotal evidence suggests this is true. Most young people don’t get serious about their careers until at least their mid-20s. I personally don’t think people should drive, get married, live on their own, or have children until they’re at least 30. That would avoid a whole bunch of problems, even if it might mean parents driving their adult children to work in suburbia.

    Regardless of age, stricter licensing programs which include practice similar to what race car drivers go through make lots of sense. Car handling is just as important as quoting rules and regulations. It does little good to say you might do this or that in an emergency situation if you can’t physically implement it. Obviously the effect of doing everything I mention would probably mean 75% or more of the adult population will never possess a driver’s license. Fine by me. Most people can’t drive safely either because of physical/mental limitations, or because they just have the wrong attitude. I always thought the concept of universal driving was silly, all the more so now that we have ever more things to distract us.

    Autonomous vehicles will of course make all this moot, so long as we have the good sense to ban manual driving on public roads once AVs prove themselves.