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Study shows benefits of realistic driver risk education program

The Texas Reality Education for Drivers, or RED, program is just one of the many risk education programs that are offered as a supplement for teens with poor driving skills. Residents of Pennsylvania who have teenage children may want to learn what it is about this program that could help boost traditional drivers' education programs across the nation.

Researchers at Baylor University studied the effects of the RED program on 21 teen participants, particularly when it came to risk awareness. When filling out a questionnaire, the majority of the teens admitted that they had texted or made a call while driving between six and nine times during the previous 30 days, which was the most frequently cited form of risky driving behavior.

The RED program is a one-day, six-hour program set in a hospital that incorporates traditional elements like lectures, videos and discussions. Additional features include talks with health care staffers who have dealt with car crash victims and guided tours with nurses through the emergency rooms, the ICU and the morgue. These reality-based elements, researchers say, boosted the participants' risk awareness.

In particular, the study participants recognized the dangers of speeding and the role of peer influence in drinking and driving. Parental monitoring also increased after the program. Parents were less likely to enforce the consequences of poor driving, which can be taken to mean that the teens were not breaking their parents' rules as frequently.

Risk awareness does not always lead to safer driving. If a distracted, drowsy, drunk or otherwise negligent driver causes a car accident, the victims may be able to file third-party insurance claims and be covered for medical bills, vehicle repair costs, lost wages and more. A lawyer could assist victims by utilizing a network of accident investigators, photographers and other professionals. Once the proof against the defendant has been established, an attorney could negotiate for a reasonable settlement, resorting to litigation if one cannot be reached.

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