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Prevent Teenage Car Accidents

By Evan L. Kaine

You never thought the day would come.

Actually, you were hoping the day would never come.

You are about to hand over the keys to your teenage son or daughter.

{Disclaimer from your local personal injury and auto accident attorney:  First and foremost, before you even think about letting them leave the driveway, it is important to note that under Georgia law, a driver must be a minimum of 15 years old to apply for a Class C instructional permit. A Class D intermediate license will be given to a teen driver who is 16 years of age, held their instructional permit for one year and passed a driving test. Lastly, if a teen driver (18 years or older) has a Class D license and has gone without any major traffic violations for the previous year, they will be granted a full Class C Driver License in the state of Georgia.}

Gone are the days where your entire car is filled with backpacks, lunch boxes and sports equipment. Your teenager is old enough to drive to and from school—without ANY PARENT SUPERVISION! Let the anxiety settle and listen to a few tips that can help your teenager drive safely.

Driver’s Education Starts At Home

  • Your children are constantly watching you. If you (break the law and) text and drive, they too will text while driving.
  • Studies show that teens are in car accidents because of their inexperience and risk taking. Therefore, the more driving practice they can have while you are in the car with them, the better.
  • Talk to your teen about peer pressure. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teens were 2.5x more likely to engage in risky driving behavior when driving with another teenager in the car versus driving alone. The likelihood increases to 3x when traveling with multiple teen passengers.

Driver’s Education Classes Can’t Teach Your Teen Driver Everything

 Many parents assume that effective driver’s education classes will reduce the high car accident rates among teenage drivers, ages 15 to 18 years of age. However, studies of driver’s education have failed to show a decrease in car crash rates among these drivers.

  • The Graduated Driver Licensing system (GDL) is designed to give teen drivers experience under adult supervision and introduce them to risky driving conditions.

Set The Ground Rules

  • Start the conversation early with your young adult. Even before they receive their Class C Instructional License, they should know the responsibilities and risk factors that go with driving.
  • Set the standard of driving by demonstrating safe, driving techniques and talk about these techniques with your young adult.
  • Have your teen write out what they will or will not do. For example, a popular written statement is when teens take the pledge not to text and drive.
  • Give your teen reassurance and trust. Although this “life event” causes anxiety for parents, they should know how important trust and responsibility work hand-in-hand when driving.

The teenage years can be the hardest and we don’t want your family to suffer a life altering car accident. Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents remain the leading cause for teen deaths – a topic that should be discussed so they understand the repercussions of irresponsible and reckless driving. If your teen driver has been involved in a car accident, we encourage you to immediately contact our office. We are here to help you and your loved one get back on your feet, and the road, after a car accident.

Published August 16, 2018
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