According to a report published in USA Today on October 12, 2016, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association stated that the number of teen driving fatalities spiked nearly 10% last year. The causes were attributed to speeding and distracted driving. Despite the fact that most states have graduated licensing programs that place restrictions on newly licensed drivers, such as limiting the number of passengers by age and relationship and less night driving, deaths have suddenly risen after years of remaining relatively stable at around 4,300 per year. In 2015, teens were involved in over 14,000 fatal crashes, but they may not have necessarily been the driver of the car. In 2015,  teen drivers were direct result in 4,689 deaths. It was a significant jump up from the 4,272 reported in 2014. This report is not surprising to me, for as Driver Education is eliminated from the public schools (due to budget restrictions and standardized testing priority) and never offered at charter schools, the number of minimally trained drivers has hit the road with their newly minted license after a 5 minute test drive with an MVD agent. The test is given on side streets with a few traffic control signals to maneuver through and a parking test for a 3-point turn around or parallel parking. There is no test of the driver’s behavior when they receive a call or text message on their cell phone or when they have to merge onto a crowded freeway or what to do in the event of a panic stop. Without driver education, be it public or private, you can be assured that the number of teen drivers involved in fatal collisions will never go down again. Teen driving fatalities can be lowered again by educating young drivers in proper methods of defensive driving and by making them familiar with the performance characteristics of the car they are driving.