LIVE | Chuck Hawks: Driving Our Future


 Chuck Hawks - TEDxCharlotte

How many people do you know have a driver’s license? Or, how many do you know who don’t?

80% of US drivers think they are an above average driver. 64% think they are an excellent driver. Actually, 90% of us suck at driving.

There’s a gap between what we think and what we actually are.

In 1986 we were in the top three of the best drivers in the world. Now we’re 42nd out of 46.


How did this happen? What changed in the last 30 years? It’s a complex question with an even more complex answer.


Our roads are not what they used to be. There is a lot more density, we are all in a rush, and most of us are distracted and we’re looking out for ourselves and ourselves only. It’s a battle zone out there.


And then our driver’s education has changed and has become somewhat of an oxymoron. There’s always going to be bad apples (educators) but there are just not enough resources out there for the good apples. They do the best with what they have but it’s not enough. It’s become way too easy to get a driver’s license in the US and the education is watered down.


Driving is the #1 cause of death for US citizens 15-19 years of age.


The US government conducted a study and their results were: 1) the program satisfies the teens ability to pass the drivers test and, 2) it’s unreasonable to think that the drivers education curriculum cannot decrease the number of fatal car accidents involving teens.


Most states enacted a graduated license program and all that did was kick the can down the hill. It cut down on the younger teen accidents but it increased the accidents with older teens. They were waiting till they were 18 to by pass the new rules.


We tend to see driving as down-time. We text, we eat, we change clothes, we read books, etc. We’re not paying attention do the task at hand. We’re behind the problem instead of in front of it.

But how do the other countries are getting it right?

There are countries that have no traffic lights, lanes, crossing lanes for pedestrian and yet their accident levels are low. They are avoiding the crash by being cooperative. They’re being preventative.


So what can we do?

  1. A new attitude. Change your mindset and pay attention to what’s going on around you.
  2. Raise the bar on driver’s education.



Blog post written by Kseniya Martin.