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Driver training is entering a new era


Date: 1998-09-09

The number of road rage incidents is a symptom that harmonious coexistence amongst the wide range of users on today's roads is going to require training and education at a level far beyond anything we've had in the past. Fortunately, as these new needs develop, all kinds of new possibilities for improvements in training and education are developing also.

Many of these new possibilities are stimulated by new technologies such as computer-assisted learning and fully interactive simulation. New research is playing a role, too, as the research community explores ways of improving training and education programs, and as they attempt to determine why training and education programs used in the past have not been effective in reducing crashes.

The development of modern training methods is going to be a very interesting story. Even training in skills that would seem an obvious benefit-skid recovery and collision avoidance-has come under surprising criticism. Some studies have indicated that graduates of these programs are more likely to crash rather than less. Nevertheless, the idea of not training drivers to handle situations they will inevitably find themselves in, hardly seems a viable alternative.

Another dimension of the training issue is the relationship between training and driving privileges. Graduated licensing systems, which offer incremental privileges as drivers gain experience, skill and decision-making competence, may be the way of the future for new drivers. Graduated systems may also be on the way for other driving categories such as commercial drivers, specialized drivers and elderly drivers.

All in all, there are many interesting issues and challenges for discussion here at To keep informed, subscribe to our free monthly update bulletin, or bookmark and drop by now and then.

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