Better training will curb accidents
June 2, 2012
Sadly, since January there have been 100 Nevada traffic fatalities.
With the number of fatal traffic accidents approaching an all-time high this year, what can we do? Even walking in a parking lot is dangerous. With poor driver training and driving regulations, driving becomes more complicated.
Each state defines motor vehicle regulations for that state. State differences can be significant: Motorists can legally use cellphones in some states but not others. Making a right turn on a red light is allowed in some states, not others … the list goes on. With the exception of Washoe County School District, high schools in Nevada have dropped driver education.
What are we doing about it?
There are an untold number of methods, ranging from no training at all, to classroom learning, behind-the-wheel practice and simulator training. Consider the training and competition we are using in high school athletics; leaving out driver education and training is a fatal difference. We can respond to this problem if we develop team-oriented driver education and training.
Results of the training cannot be determined because the left hand does not tie to the right hand. A class roster does not tie to the DMV driver traffic violations, accidents and fatalities.
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What can we do?
Simply modify the Nevada DMV databases to include what training the driver received. Points are currently assigned and recorded for traffic violations and accidents.
Information in the database could clarify the type of training, quality and needs for the myriad driver’s licensing and training approaches. This would lead to lower insurance costs, better driver training and, more important, fewer traffic accidents, injuries and property damage. That information could show the difference in driver training, highlighting the effectiveness of that training.
Adding driver training information to a database will cost money, but the cost of accidents dwarfs that cost.
Safe driving could save our lives and the lives of our family and friends. It is clear that we must do something – and we must start now!
If you agree, I urge you to contact your Nevada senator and congressman and tell them, ask them, and beg them to make these changes. Nevada can be the leader for all states. The worst thing we can do … is nothing at all!
• Ron Kendall of Carson City is president of the LADS Foundation (Look Ahead Driving Simulator Foundation). He will be at tonight’s Carson High School “Safe Grad” event. The event will also feature a drunken-driving simulator so students can see firsthand how impaired judgment affects driving ability.