Many students in the metro Atlanta area went back to school this month.  While some waited outside at their neighborhood bus stop, others drove themselves to campus for the very first time.  Driving to school can be exciting for teenagers – but anxiety-inducing for their parents.  The Gore Law Firm has some advice for keeping teen drivers safe while they are behind the wheel.

Always wear your seat belt.  Seat belts save lives.  Make sure you and all of your passengers buckle-up.  This applies to everyone – not just the novice drivers.

Avoid distractions.  When a teenage driver is operating a vehicle, that should be their main focus.  They should not be eating, drinking, texting, talking on their phone, or grooming.  (It is a violation of Georgia law to text while driving, or for people younger than 18 to use a phone while driving).  Teenagers should not adjust the radio or program the navigation system while they are driving.  They should also be careful about having passengers in the vehicle with them.  (Georgia also has laws in place regarding the driver’s age and level of experience, and how many passengers they can have in their vehicle).

Watch for school buses.  Teen drivers should maintain a wide distance between their vehicle and a school bus.  They need to be prepared for the bus to make frequent and/or unexpected stops.  All drivers should yield to school buses when they are turning or merging into traffic.  Also, under Georgia law, all drivers are required to stop when a school bus is stopped on the road with its lights flashing and stop sign extended.

Do not drive drowsy.  Getting a good night’s sleep may be difficult when your teenager is cramming for a test or staying on campus late for their extracurricular clubs.  But it can be dangerous for teens to drive while drowsy.  When inexperienced drivers are sleepy, they tend to forget their newly-acquired driving skills, as well as having slowed response times.

Understand Georgia’s rules of the road.  Georgia has a graduated driver’s licensing program for teenagers.  It consists of three separate phases that teens progress through, depending on their age, demonstrated ability to operate a vehicle, and other requirements.  These different levels of driver’s license come with different restrictions as to when teenagers can drive and who can ride in the vehicle with them.

These five tips can help your teenagers to become safe and capable drivers.  But accidents do still happen.  If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a collision and need help with your personal injury case, call The Gore Law Firm at (404) 436-1529 to schedule a free personal injury consultation.

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