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Pontiac of the Month

Pedja's 1968 Firebird

2019 March
of the Month

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America is developing a gap in driver’s ed

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UMTRI-Toyota teen driver distraction studyAccording to various studies, the U.S. is developing something of a driver’s education gap. Not to other countries—though driver training regimens in other countries compared to those in the United States is surely a conversation worth having—but between socio-economic boundaries. CityLab surveyed various polls by the AAA...

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From a Michigan perspective, driver's education training use to be funded through the school systems. It was part of the summer education program. School districts would get driver's ed. cars from local car dealerships. Students were required to attend typically one of two summer sessions - it was a combination of class and in-car driving.

As funding for public education was cut in the early 2000s, driver's education was dropped as a cost savings measure by most school systems, thus opening the door for private companies to teach driver's education. This meant that driver's education was no longer "free" via public tax dollars and now became a real additional cost to families.

Furthermore, the driver's learners permit to driver's license rules changed too. Student's needed to log so many hours in day time and night time driving before moving up a higher learner's permit or driver's license. When I was a teenager, once I successfully completed driver's ed,  I was at least sixteen and with my parent's permission, I could get my license.  

Also, kids don't want to drive like we did. I think they'd rather continue to let mom and dad chauffeur them around and keep their heads stuck in the iPhones. This may also be a possible source for the appeal of Uber and Lyft. We saw driving as a right of passage, and a form of independence. Kids don't look at driving that way. It's not quite as important to them as was to us. Pity.

Edited by Frosty

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In Florida, at least when I went through this (no idea what they're doing know to spit out useless drivers), you had to take a test to get your learners permit at 15 and have to log so many hours during the day and night with your parent/guardian in the car with you. Then have to either take a "state approved" drivers ed course or do a few hours long drivers written and practical test. Then for the first 2 years your driving time is limited to certain hours.

I was mad because my 15th birthday was on a weekend so I couldn't go get my learners permit for a few days. Once I got it though I drove whenever I could. Then that spring in school, my public high school had a drivers ed class so I took that. There were simulators and actual cars then every now and again you got to go in a group of 3 with the teacher in a drivers ed car around town. Pretty cool, don't think this day in age with all the scandal they would allow or a teacher would want to be alone with a bunch of 15/16 year olds in a car though. 

Anyway at the end of the semester, if you pass the course, the teacher will give you slip of paper to give to the DMW to get your license once you turn 16. Which being an August baby, was more painful waiting. 

Funny story, the teacher thought I was 16 because apparently my driving was so good and I was more mature so he almost didn't give my the slip of paper. I had to go ask for it :lol: 

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