High school driver education: further evaluation of the DeKalb County study

Accid Anal Prev. 1986 Aug;18(4):349-57. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(86)90048-5.


The DeKalb County, Georgia, study is the largest experimental evaluation of high school driver education to date. Detailed reanalyses of data from that study reveal that students assigned to an enhanced driver education program (Safe Performance Curriculum) were more likely to obtain drivers licenses, to be in car crashes and to have traffic violations than control students not assigned to driver education. Students assigned to a minimal program of high school driver education (Pre-Driver Licensing Curriculum) were also more likely than control students to obtain licenses, but the difference was smaller than for the enhanced program and they were not significantly more likely to be in crashes or to have violations. Students in the more limited course were less likely than those in the enhanced course to complete the course in a timely manner, which suggests that exposure differences may explain differences between the two groups. The results confirm that greater availability of driver education causes students to become licensed sooner, although the DeKalb study probably underestimates the effect. Because of this greater exposure, crashes and violations are incurred at an earlier age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic*
  • Adolescent
  • Automobile Driver Examination
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Curriculum
  • Georgia
  • Humans
  • Risk
  • Schools*