To the Editor.—
The recommendations made by the Council on Scientific Affairs1 in regard to drinking and driving are well thought out and should serve as a guide for legislators in formulating future policy decisions addressing this serious social problem. One wonders, however, whether more can be done.Since the 16- to 17-year-old age group is grossly overrepresented in automobile and alcohol-related accidents and fatalities, it may be prudent to consider additional means for reducing this group's risk. One such measure would be the elimination of driver education courses, which result in large numbers of teenagers taking to the road before their 18th birthdays. The state of Connecticut eliminated funding for such courses in 1976, and nine school systems subsequently dropped driver education courses from their curricula. The result was a substantial reduction in automobile accidents involving 16- and 17-year-olds in those localities where courses were no longer offered.
Falck R. Alcohol and the Driver. JAMA. 1986;256(1):37. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380010041013