If you have a teenage son or daughter, he or she is likely excited about the prospect of hitting the road and claiming independence in the form of a driver's license. Though this is an important stepping stone, it is also a big risk. Accidents involving teen drivers cause injuries and even death at a higher rate than the rest of the driving population. This risk can be reduced, however, through enrollment in a graduated driver's license program. Here are more ways it can encourage safety.
Driving experience is mandatory
Though requirements vary from state to state, in a graduated driver's license program, or GDL, students must put in a minimum number of supervised driving hours in order to obtain their license. Outside of such a program, an aspiring driver may be able to satisfy the requirement simply through a parent's signature verifying practice hours. The more experience a young driver gains, the less likely it is he or she will be involved in an accident. Enrolling in a GDL ensures a student gets plenty.
Learn about essential safety principles
Though practice makes perfect, it is not necessarily sufficient in training teen drivers. In fact, teens need clear information regarding the rules of the road in order to drive safely. GDL programs have an expertly developed curriculum that increases students' knowledge of traffic laws and defensive driving maneuvers. These principles are ones that seasoned drivers are fully aware of, but young drivers need to learn them before venturing on the road.
Master principles of driving before progressing
The structure of a graduated driver's license program makes it so that students must master basic concepts prior to progressing. As the name suggests, there are several steps in the program, including the learner stage, intermediate stage and full privilege stage. The latter of these is the point at which students are eligible to receive their license and begin driving.
Develop lifelong driving skills
Programs such as these build a solid foundation of driving skills and train teens to be better, safer drivers. Though young drivers often get a bad reputation on the road, enrolling your teen in a GDL can help minimize the chances of an accident and develop driving skills that will last a lifetime. There are few investments you can make that are better than that.
If you have already experienced an accident involving a driver who was young or distracted, there are options available. Contact an attorney to help you explore the next steps.