By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Once a right of passage for teen drivers, driver’s education programs have been cut from many schools and are less available than in decades past. But a new AAA study says teens that skip drivers ed are likely to have more crashes and more traffic convictions.READ MORE: Philadelphia Police Searching For Suspect Who Stole Car With 6-Year-Old Girl In Backseat
“There really is a difference when teens take driver education,” says Jenny Robinson, a spokesperson with AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Driver education reduces crashes by 4.3% and convictions by nearly 40%.”
Pennsylvania requires teens to take 65 hours of drivers education, with 10 of those hours at night and 5 during inclement weather. New Jersey doesn’t require drivers ed at all, but there are a number of other restrictions. For example, teens can can only have one passenger underage in the car until they are 18-years-old. Teens also have an 11-o’clock curfew and must sport a red decal on their license plate.READ MORE: North Philadelphia Community Welcomes Home 3-Year-Old Boy After Hit-And-Run That Also Killed Mother
“They are not allowed to use any electronics in the car,” says Pam Fisher, leader of NJ Teen Safe Driving Coalition. “That means no cell-phone, no iPad, no GPS because we know they can be very distracted and this is a new and inexperienced driver.”
Pennsylvania also bans driving and texting and limits the number of underage passengers for the first six months of a junior license.MORE NEWS: Local Doctor Joins 14 World War II Veterans In Hawaii Visiting Pearl Harbor On 80th Anniversary
For more on the AA study, go to http://midatlantic.aaa.com/teendriving.