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Teen driver education varies widely by state.

While formal driver education programs, including behind-the-wheel training with adult supervision, can help new drivers learn about safety, driver education requirements vary widely by state, according to a study in the March issue of Pediatrics.

The study found almost 79 percent of public high school students with driver's licenses participated in a formal driver education program. But in states without a driver education requirement, one in three students received no formal driver education before being issued their licenses. More than half of students reported having no formal, behind-the-wheel training.

The study also found that Hispanics, blacks, males and students with lower academic achievement participated in driver education at a much lower level in states that do not require the training.

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The study authors said as more evidence-based driver education programs are enacted and evaluated, "attention should be paid to possible implications of underutilization by low-income, male and minority teens, especially given that these groups are reported to have higher rates of risky driving behaviors and crashes."
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Title Annotation:STATES IN BRIEF
Author:Currie, Donya
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Apr 1, 2012
Words:168
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