Web program can help teens learn to drive


A recent study finds teens may benefit from a web-based program that allows them to practice driving even before they go for their license.

"There are some really good teen driving safety online modules that a parent and a kid can go over together and get that kid to be a better driver," said Cleveland Clinic Children's Pediatrician Dr. Ellen Rome, who did not take part in the study.

Researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia studied 217 pairs of parents and teenagers with a learner's permit. Nearly half the group used a web-based program, supervised by their parents, which allowed them to practice driving on various roads and in various conditions. The others used a driver's manual only.

Results show 6% of the teens in the group allowed to practice with the web-based program had their on-road driving assessment ended because of poor performance compared to 15 percent of the teens in the group learning to drive from the manual-only.

Researchers say supervised practice with the program appears to improve a teen's driving performance and Rome agrees.

"It can help a parent to plan out which intersection and have concrete goals. We're going to try the highway this day. We're going to try the parking lot of the busy mall or grocery store this day," she said.

Learn more about the web-based driver's education program.