According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), teen drivers education can get a boost from cell phone apps. The IIHS says a smartphone app could be a promising replacement for pen and paper when tracking the necessary supervised driving practice before obtaining a license. That’s because parents and teenagers seem to enjoy using the app.
Most U.S. states mandate that 16- and 17-year-olds learning to drive complete a minimum number of practice hours while being supervised by an older, licensed driver (usually a parent). Several state licensing organizations allow smartphone logbook applications as a replacement to the logbook that must be signed by a parent or guardian in some regions.
In Florida, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, (FHSMV), “A parent, legal guardian or responsible adult over 21 years old must complete the Certification of Minor Driving Experience Form, certifying the driver has 50 hours of driving experience, of which 10 hours must be at night.” The FHSMAV recommends using a Practice Log Sheet to track driving experience time. A smartphone app seems to be more user-friendly.
Teen Drivers Education Smart Phone Apps
“Electronic reporting offers a lot of potential benefits,” IIHS Research Scientist Becca Weast says. “A more complete, easily accessible record could help parents and teens keep track of the types of driving that might be missing or underrepresented.”
Researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health compared the practice-driving records of about 150 teen-parent pairs who used a smartphone app and about 130 pairs who used paper logbooks in Maryland to begin evaluating the potential advantages of switching to such electronic logbooks.
The smartphone users reported round-trip journeys. They accessed the app and clicked a button to begin and end recording at the start and end of each practice session. They additionally answered questions on their practice trip and hour totals from the week before on a questionnaire that they completed several times throughout the six-month study period. The standard paper logbook was used by the control group to document each drive.
Improving Teen Drivers Education
“Eventually, smartphone apps could become part of a licensing system where practice driving requirements are verified,” says Johnathon Ehsani, director of research at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Bloomberg School.
It may be possible for researchers to determine if particular aspects of practice driving predict safer or riskier driving over time as a result of ongoing analysis of the data gathered in this study. This study’s ongoing analysis will give a more thorough picture of how supervised practice functions in the real world than is currently available. This could be a positive development in teen drivers education.
Teaching teens to drive safely is a responsibility, part of the responsibility we have to drive safely and do our best to avoid accidents. If you’ve been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, call 866-730-3508 for a free consultation with a top Orlando car accident attorney with the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm. Convenient locations throughout Central Florida.