Teaching a young person to drive is a serious endeavor. In Georgia, in order to get your driver’s license at 16, you have to complete an approved driver’s education program that includes 40 hours of behind the wheel driving and six hours of night driving with a designated instructor (a parent or guardian).

Driver’s ed used to be taught in the public school system, but over the last few decades private driving schools and online curricula for parent-taught programs have become the norm in most states in this country.

The problem arises when a parent or the designated “teacher” doesn’t take the role seriously. No matter how capable a young person, if you put him or her behind the wheel of a car, you are basically handing over a lethal weapon.

In Texas this week there was heartbreaking news when a pregnant mother allowed her 15 year old son who had only a learner’s permit to drive her home from her baby shower because she was too tired to drive. An accident occurred, killing the mother. The baby was removed from her womb and is on life support in a Dallas hospital. A five year old sibling in the rear of the vehicle is recovering from a skull fracture, but she will survive, now motherless. The 15-year old driver was treated and released from the hospital but will have to face a lifetime of sadness from the ordeal.

In hindsight, obviously putting a 15 year old behind the wheel and making him responsible for so many lives was not a good idea. But sadly, this happens all the time.

In 2007, Georgia passed a law called Joshua’s Law that requires 16 year olds to complete a driver education course approved by the Department of Driver Services in order to receive a Class D License. This is critically important. Sadly, in Georgia an “untrained” driver can get a license at 17. Not training your teen may be legal, but it’s also irresponsible.

If your teens are learning to drive, check out this parent teacher driving guide and be sure they get the instruction they need and don’t put them in situations where they are responsible for more than they are ready to handle. If you as a parent are not capable or willing to put the time and energy into adequately training your kids (and let’s face it, some parents should not teach their kids), then by all means pay the money and put them in a certified driver’s ed program.

Too many injuries occur when drivers are inexperienced or unprepared. As a personal injury attorney, David Van Sant works with accident victims who have been involved in all sorts of car and truck accidents, and many are caused by inexperienced drivers who are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Driving is serious business.

If you ever are the unfortunate victim of an accident, contact the Law Offices of David Van Sant. He is an Alpharetta accident attorney who will take the burden off of you and focus in on ensuring your best interests are taken care of. For more information, contact Mr. Van Sant today.

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