Pre-license driver training is an important part of a broader set of initiatives designed to reduce fatal crashes.


It is widely supported by the public. However, studies suggest that these programs may not have much of an impact on crash rates. This article reviews the main research evidence on driver training, and explores its policy implications.  


Studies have also shown that drivers who complete pre-license training are licensed more often than those who do not.


Among young males, drivers who completed training were less likely to crash. Among female drivers, the effect was not significant.


In addition, studies have not been able to determine whether training results in a decrease in the per capita crash rate.


In the DeKalb County study, driver training was associated with a small short-term reduction in violation rates.


The conventional approach to training drivers for safer driving has been to provide on-the-road instruction.

Younger ages

In addition, studies show that high school driver training programs tend to increase the licensing rates of drivers at younger ages.


There are a variety of factors that contribute to the high crash rate among new drivers. Some insurance companies offer discounts to teens who complete driver training programs. This raises legitimate public policy questions.  

Driver training studies have been conducted in different countries. A study of Danish mandatory driver education by Carstensen (2002) found that drivers who completed the program had a lower crash rate. Their findings were complemented by four additional papers.  


Lonero and Mayhew’s review of driver education programs in British Columbia and Pennsylvania revealed little evidence of a crash reduction. They found that the training programs decreased the time it took to obtain a license. However, they also observed that a higher number of people dropped out of the program. These results indicate a self-selection bias.  

In their study of a drive range training program, Dreyer and Janke found that training improved driver performance. After the first year of licensed driving, the range group had fewer crashes than the on-the-road group. 

Two studies

Two studies conducted in the United Kingdom and Canada have also examined the effects of conventional driver education programs. The findings of these studies are contradictory. However, this has not been proven to reduce the rate of collisions.