New legislation could revise a decades-old law, changing the requirements for teenage drivers.
Joshua’s Law, in effect since 2005, mandated that drivers under 18 could only drive with immediate family members for the first six months. They were then permitted to have other passengers, as long as only one was under 21, for the next six months.
Read on to learn more about the proposed changes – and how they impact young drivers here at home.
New Georgia Law For Teen Drivers On The Way
The proposed legislation would allow new drivers under 18 to drive with one passenger in the car for the first year – with no restriction on the passenger’s age or relation to the driver. Senate Bill 50 has already passed the Georgia Senate and is awaiting a vote by the House.
The number of teen drivers (aged 15 to 17) in auto accidents has not changed significantly since Joshua’s Law went into effect, causing lawmakers to consider this new change. Many agree that parents, instead of state law, should monitor their teens’ driving and put appropriate rules in place.
Teens are the Most Distracted Drivers
Studies show that distracted driving accounts for 15% of injuries in car crashes and 14% of police-reported traffic accidents, according to the National Highway Safety Administration. Young drivers between 16 and 24 years old are by far the most distracted drivers.
Common Teen Driving Statistics
- 39% of high school students admitted to texting/emailing while behind the wheel during the past month (2019 data).
- Young adults (ages 18-24) who report cell phone use while driving also take other risks on the road, such as speeding or running red lights.
- Many teens admit to using social media apps even though they know that it is dangerous.
Common Types of Distracted Driving
- Cell phone/smartphone use
- Eating and/or drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Grooming/applying makeup
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting stereo or infotainment system
How To Prevent Teens of Distracted Driving
Keeping teens safe behind the wheel requires the cooperation of all involved. Here are some helpful tips for passengers, parents, and teens themselves:
Tips for Drivers
- Never multitask.
- Use an app to help discourage cell phone use while driving.
- Avoid unnecessary distractions like eating or applying makeup.
Tips for Passengers
- Remind the driver to stay focused.
- Speak up if you feel unsafe.
- Help with navigation or other tasks to reduce distractions.
Tips for Parents
- Discuss the dangers of distracted driving with your child.
- Share statistics.
- Set driving guidelines (times, number of passengers, etc.).
- Enforce consequences for irresponsible driving.
- Enable teen driver technology, if available on the vehicle.
More Questions? Discover A Georgia Car Accident Lawyer Near Me
Want to learn more about keeping your teen driver safe? Contact our experienced car accident attorneys today! As always, our team is here to help.
You can find us serving car crash victims in the following areas:
(Park of Commerce) Savannah, GA
(Abercorn) Savannah, GA
SOUTH CAROLINA LAWYERS
Phenix City, AL
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