TIRF has published a new young driver study that was designed to increase understanding of the context of government decision-making about driver education and teen driver safety programs. The objective was to gain insight into real-world factors that influence such processes. Five states were included in this study that represented a cross-section of approaches to young driver program and regions across the country. Program features included regulatory approaches, quality and accessible crash data, different mechanisms to deliver driver education (i.e., public/commercial, classroom/online, varying degrees of parental involvement and use of technologies), and states that have aimed to strengthen driver education practices in the past few years.
Results from key informant interviews in these jurisdictions were summarized and synthesized to highlight the program structures, contextual factors, measures of progress, and processes that help to shape decision-making in relation to the pursuit of improvements to driver education or other teen driver safety programs. Results are organized according to: trends in participation in teen driver safety programs; key program features; environmental context of program delivery; program indicators; common processes to adopt and implement improvements; and, common barriers that impede the adoption and implementation of improvements. Experiences and lessons learned from states that have different regulatory authority for driver education, variable driver license requirements, and that that have pursued a range of improvements to their respective programs can inform strategies in other jurisdictions to improve driver education and teen driver safety programs.
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