The 2010 National Teen Driver Safety Week kicked off yesterday, and the experts from Johns Creek Driving School in Atlanta offer up some valuable tips for keeping your own teenager safe behind the wheel. All across America, advocates, safety organizations, educators and automobile insurers are putting the spotlight on a myriad of issues that teen drivers face while on the road. Is Georgia doing enough to keep its teenage drivers safe?
According to Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, an alliance of consumer, health and safety groups working together with insurance companies and agents, Georgia needs to pass more laws to ensure the safety of teen drivers. The non-profit organization promotes a Graduated Driver Licensing system for teen drivers. The master plan focuses on three stages: learner’s, intermediate and an unrestricted driving stage. The learner’s stage requires teenage drivers to complete a minimum number of months of adult-supervised driving in order to obtain a full license. The intermediate stage restricts teens from driving in high-risk situations for a specified period of time before receiving a full license. The unrestricted driver stage follows after all the above requirements are met.
There is currently proposed legislation called the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection, or STANDUP Act. It would require all states to implement tougher driver licensing programs for teens under the age of 18. States that follow the rules would be rewarded with incentives ranging from $500,000-$1 million per year for three years. States that don’t follow the rules could face cuts in federal transportation funding. Georgia already meets many of the requirements of the proposed legislation. One area where it doesn’t is in the age drivers can get permits. Georgia currently allows 15-year-olds to get conditional learner permits. The STANDUP Act as proposed wouldn’t allow anyone under 16 to get a permit.
Georgia currently follows Joshua’s Law, which was enacted on January 1, 2007. It states that all 16 year-olds applying for a Class D driver’s license must complete an approved driver education course and complete a total of 40 hours of supervised driving, 6 hours of which must be at night, with a parent or guardian’s sworn verification that these requirements have been met. Any Georgia resident who has not completed an approved driver education course must be at least 17 years old to be eligible for a Class D driver’s license. He or she must have completed a total of at least 40 hours of supervised driving, including at least 6 hours at night. The same verification in writing by a parent or guardian is required.
Johns Creek Driving School meets all of the requirements of Joshua’s Law. It’s located at 10350 Medlock Bridge Road in North Atlanta and offers the following safety tips for teenage drivers:
- The Longest 500 Miles for Teens & Parents: A teenager’s first 500 miles of driving are the most dangerous. During that time, they’re 10 times more likely to crash than an adult.
- No friends in the car for the first 6 month…by the way, it’s the law too! The presence of one passenger doubles the fatal crash risk for a teen driver and the risk increases with each additional passenger, yet recent research shows that few teens recognize the impact passengers have on driver safety.
- 25% of accidents are caused by TEXTING. Put your cell phone down!
- Lead by example: Most teens follow similar driving habits of their parents! So, drive the speed limit, don’t use your cell phone (reading emails included & even at stop lights) and keep it safe on the road.
- Don’t let your teen drive whenever they want. Teens with easy access to a vehicle are more likely to crash than those who have to “ask for permission” and have a more structured approach.
To learn more about Johns Creek Driving School, or to sign up for classes, visit their website. From now through December, Johns Creek Driving School is offering a 10% discount on all Teen Driving classes.
National Teen Driver Safety Week runs from October 17-23, 2010.
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