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MI Safety Matters - Graduated Driver's License Program Not Enough, Argues Youth Rights Activist

Upon flipping through the Detroit Free Press’ latest editorials, one instantly stood out. Initially, the piece did not seem to be one that most experienced Detroit personal injury lawyers would agree with–the author, Alex Koroknay-Palicz, generally argues that enforcing strict graduated driver’s license programs would be counterproductive and result in an increase in car accidents involving young adults. However, after reading on to discover the true message of the editorial, his emphasis on the importance of driver’s education is a point that all can agree with.

Koroknay-Palicz and many other teens statewide, he received his learner’s permit at 15 years-old. However, before learner’s permit holders can hit the open road, they must go through two separate sessions of driver’s training, including both classroom and on-road instruction. Additionally, extra hours behind the wheel are required with a licensed driver (generally a parent) to practice. Finally, after taking both written and on-road tests, a 16 year-old is granted a driver’s license allowing them to operate a motor vehicle alone.

However, there are many teens who choose to wait until their 18th birthday to become a licensed driver–ultimately bypassing the important training received by those who undergo driver’s education. Although they do not have to sit through hours of training, those that skip driver’s education are more likely to be the inexperienced driver’s on the road, and ultimately become involved in devastating Michigan car accidents.

Recently updated legislation enforcing additional training and requirements before licensure, Koroknay-Palicz argues, only encourage more young adults to “skip the extra restrictions and extra instruction by waiting.” The number of licensed teens in Michigan have been decreasing over the past quarter century, meaning that fewer motorists receive driver’s educational training in their formidable years. “If all these laws accomplish is lowering the number of drivers who go through driver’s training, the GDL requirements, and the essential training period of having a provisional license, then this law is flatly counterproductive.”

To avoid this problem, the author argues that Michigan adopts systems similar to other states. Koroknay-Palicz suggests that enforcing the graduated drivers’ license program for every driver, regardless of when they start driving, can help ensure that each motorist undergoes the training period necessary to make them a safe driver.

Although implemented safety legislation is placed to protect those on the road, there can often be unintended side-effects. While it is important to be strict on drivers attempting to receive their license, it is also essential that each motorist receives the appropriate training and education necessary to be a safe driver. Inexperienced drivers are the ones at the highest risk for a serious car accident, resulting in serious personal injury or death. If involved in a crash, a victim and their family will almost certainly have numerous questions regarding the possible options. Contacting an aggressive and hard-working Detroit car accident lawyer can help ensure not only superior legal advice and legal representation, but also the most positive outcome for your personal injury claim.