The problem with statistics is that 98.4% of them are bogus. Take, for example, a recent study by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The study showed that drivers who took a structured driver’s education curriculum were four times more likely to have an accident than those without the training. Or did it?
First, there’s no consideration for the amount of time a new driver has spent behind the wheel. With driver’s ed training, Indiana residents can get licenses at age 16 years, 180 days. Without driver’s ed, the minimum age age is 16 years, 270 days, which means that driver’s ed students have an extra 90 days of carnage to get through once licensed. What would happen if you tracked both sets of drivers over a one year period beginning with the date of licensing? We don’t know, because Indiana didn’t control for that.
Another big problem may be that the driver’s ed program hasn’t been revised since 1980. There have been a few minor changes to automobiles in the past 30 years, such as anti-lock brakes, stability control and airbags. Could it be that driver’s ed students are actually getting incorrect information (such as the old classic, “pump your brakes to avoid locking them”)?
In any case, this story will disappear from the news in the next few days, putting this issue on the back burner until the next carload of teens meets an untimely demise. Until someone has the nerve to stand up and demand a change, it’s just a matter of time.