Getting a driver's license may be a rite of passage for teenagers but for parents, it's often a major cause for concern—and for good reason. Not only are teen drivers less experienced than other motorists, but they're also more likely to text behind the wheel or engage in other distracted driving behaviors that can result in devastating crashes.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States.
Though statistics like these can be chilling, if your teen is approaching driving age, you can take comfort in the fact that Georgia's Teenage & Adult Driver Responsibility Act (TADRA) graduated licensing system provides plenty of time for them to hone their safe driving skills. Under TADRA, teens must complete an intensive, three-step process to receive an unrestricted license. The steps are as follows:
- Step One: Instructional Permit (Class CP): Teens 15 and older can obtain this learning permit after passing a written driving exam. Permit holders only drive with a passenger in the vehicle, who must be at least 21 and have a valid Class C license.
- Step Two: Intermediate License (Class D): Drivers between 16 and 18 who've had an Instructional Permit for 12 months, completed a Department of Driver Services-approved driver education course, passed a driving test, and completed at least 40 hours of supervised driving (including at least six hours of night driving) may be granted an Intermediate License. Drivers with Class D licenses are prohibited from driving between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m. and are also subject to passenger restrictions.
- Step Three: Full License (Class C): Class D license holders with no major traffic convictions can upgrade to a full and unrestricted Class C license on their 18th birthday.
Supporting your teen through the TADRA graduated licensing process isn't the only thing you can do to help them become a safe driver. You can also model safe driving behavior, draw up a safe driving contract, and ensure that your teen knows what to do in the event of an accident.
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If you were hurt in a Georgia car accident, the skilled attorneys with Van Sant Law can help you understand your legal rights and options. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.