Teens who took driver’s education were 24 percent less likely to be in a car crash with a fatality or injury, when compared to those who did not take a course. That’s one of the notable figures in a 2015 study from Nebraska researchers, who make a strong case for the value of that education.
However, those teens still start as rookies, and by that inexperience they present a unique risk on the roads. If you are struck by a driver’s education vehicle, it can be tricky to establish the liable party.
A student driver, while still developing the decision-making chops to be a good adult driver, is expected to follow the basic rules of the road at all times. Speeding, failing to obey signals and signs, or disobeying other laws while behind the wheel could mean that the individual driver is negligent.
An instructor in a driver’s education car might also be responsible. That instructor is expected to provide a second set of eyes for the inexperienced driver, and has a second brake pedal available. If the instructor failed to get a student out of an emergency situation, or demonstrated carelessness that put the student driver in a dangerous position, the instructor could be liable for the accident.
Finally, the driving school itself could be responsible. If the school failed to perform proper background checks before hiring an instructor with red flags in his past, did not train its instructors sufficiently, or did not keep up the maintenance on its vehicles, it could bear the responsibility for the accident.
Keep in mind that the case might be more complicated if the driver’s education is part of a public school system, rather than private driving school. Public school districts can have greater liability protection than a private business.