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How interactive elements could boost teens' driver education

There are probably many parents in Virginia who are wondering how they can help their teenage children improve their driving skills. Or perhaps one of their teens has been referred to a driver's risk education program by a court or school administrator. They will want to know about a Baylor University study that considers one such program in Texas; the results have a wide-ranging application.

Researchers focused on a supplemental drivers' risk education program called the Texas Reality Education for Drivers program, which includes various interactive and reality-based elements. Set over a single day in a hospital, the program gives participants a tour of emergency rooms, an ICU and a morgue and allows them to converse with health care staffers who have treated car crash victims.

The study group consisted of 21 teen participants who were noted for their poor driving skills. In a questionnaire, most admitted to calling or texting behind the wheel between six and nine times in the previous 30 days. They were also unaware that certain actions, like driving on a freeway and having other teens in the car, could pose safety risks.

By the end, teens' risk awareness had improved, and teens recognized the role of peer influence on actions like drinking and driving. Parental monitoring also increased. Whether the participants became safer drivers or not requires further research.

Teens are just as responsible for controlling their vehicle as adults. When they become negligent and cause a car accident, their insurance company may find itself facing an injury claim. As for the victims, they may want a lawyer on their side before they start a claim. Accident attorneys may have the crash investigated or even reconstructed in the effort to prove that the other side was negligent or even reckless. They might also handle all negotiations for a settlement.

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