Georgia Auto Safety Agency Offers Parent-Teen Driving Agreement for New Drivers
Most parents have legitimate concerns about the potential risks when their teenagers start to drive. These fears are well founded because teenagers face a much higher risk of having their life derailed in a car accident that results in devastating injuries or even wrongful death. Georgia state legislators have taken multiple approaches to reducing these risks, including enactment of the Teenage & Adult Driver Responsibility Act (TADRA), which is a graduated driver’s license program that removes limitations on driving privileges for new teen drivers on an incremental basis.
TADRA yielded almost a 45 percent reduction in teenage collisions involving excessive speed during the first 18 months after its enactment according to the Georgia Department of Driver Services (GDDS). Despite these improvements, teens are still more likely to be involved in auto accidents as both passengers and drivers than adults. Although teen drivers between the ages of 15-20 only account for 8.5 percent of licensed Georgia drivers, they account for almost 13 percent of licensed drivers involved in collisions and 17 percent of those injured according to data from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety for Georgia (GOHS).
While governmental laws and restrictions can provide a partial solution to the problem of teen driving safety, parents also play an important role by providing supervision, examples, and guidance. As part of these efforts, the GOHS suggests that parents consider entering into a Teen Driver/Parent Agreement. The contract is designed to be entered into by teens when they are no longer required to have an adult over 21 in the vehicle while operating the vehicle. The Teen Driver/Parent Agreement is intended as a checklist of important rules of the road for new teen drivers as they gain driving experience and maturity. The contract also provides a chance for parents to clarify expectations and consequences regarding a teen’s driving behavior. To see the sample contract offered by the GOHS Teen Driver/Parent Agreement.
The justification for parents entering into a contract with a newly licensed teen driver is supported by the fact that drivers face the greatest risk of being involved in a collision in the months immediately after being allowed to drive without an adult in the vehicle. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicates that new teen drivers are eight times as likely to be involved in fatal car accidents during their first six months of driving solo. Even after this initial six-month period, drivers are two to three times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash than older, more experienced motorists according to the IIHS.
We encourage parents in Atlanta and the surrounding areas of Georgia to be especially vigilant during their teenager’s initial period as a new driver. If you have not asked your teenager to execute a Georgia Teen Driver/Parent Agreement, parents may want to visit the GOHS website and consider this option. If your teenager is injured in a car crash, our Atlanta car accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates offer effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.