A driver makes an incredibly simple mistake and causes an accident that puts you in the hospital. Maybe they turn the wrong way on a one-way road, fail to use a round-about properly or run a stop sign because they don't realize they need to stop. There are plenty of potential ways that accidents can happen after even the simplest of errors.
After the crash, the driver seems confused about what happened, how it happened and what they were supposed to do to prevent the wreck. That makes you furious, and you find yourself wishing that they had to take a harder driver's test before getting behind the wheel. Clearly, they did not know what they were doing and should not have been on the road.
Plus, despite being a safe driver yourself, you remember thinking that the test was easy. Wouldn't it help to make it harder?
While the theory makes sense, the reality is that studies show that other countries with harder driving tests are not safer solely because of those tests. Even when they do have better accident rates, there are many factors that contribute, such as the percentage of people who drive and the types of cars they choose. The tests themselves do not seem to make a difference.
Throwing out what they learned
The problem, some experts claim, is that the difficulty of the test doesn't usually change the way that people really drive when they go out on their own, after passing that test. They can learn the rules and safety practices for the test and then essentially throw out what they learned when driving in real life.
It's sort of like how students cram for an exam in school. The exam is supposed to measure what the student has learned over the year and what he or she now knows. In reality, many students study hard the night before the exam, retain enough short-term information to pass, and then forget everything that they "learned."
If you don't think that this happens with driving tests, people have looked into it. They have gone back to take the tests after more than a decade of driving and actually failed those tests, despite their experience. They didn't intentionally forget anything, but they slowly lost it with time. No matter how hard that test was at 16 years old, odds are that they would not remember it in their 30s or 40s.
One thing is for certain: Accident and injury rates remain very high in the United States. If you do get hurt, you could be facing serious costs like lost wages and medical bills, and you need to know how to seek financial compensation.