New rules and programs for teen drivers

Teen Driver Graduation ProgramMost parents are a little apprehensive when their teenager finally starts to drive. Most schools still have a driver’s education course. Almost every state has adopted the Graduated Driver Program (GDP) in some form; establishing certain rules for teens that must be followed and completed before they can get their permanent license. The guidelines can also help parents gain confidence in their child’s driving abilities.

As adults, we have all experienced situations that were hazardous while we were driving. As parents, those are the events that play through your mind when your teenager gets behind the wheel. We all know the statistics; we know that teens have a higher risk of being in an accident; if for no other reason, than lack of driving experience.

It should be of some comfort that most states across the nation have enacted into law the teen Graduated Driver Program. This program involves a series of phases that gradually increase the teens driving privileges over a certain amount of time; usually a year. It also includes restrictions on how many passengers they can have in the vehicle and the time period when they’re allowed to drive.    

One example is the state of Delaware. If the teen doesn’t want to take the schools driver’s education class, its ok, they don’t have to; but, they won’t be allowed to get their drivers license until they turn 18 years old. If they go through the course, they can apply for their permit, (at the state approved age).

For the first six months, an approved supervisor has to be riding with them; someone who is 25 or older, and been a licensed driver for at least five years. Only one other passenger is allowed to be in the car, besides the supervisor, or family member. The next six months they can drive unsupervised, only have one passenger (besides family members) in the car, and only drive between 6 a.m and 10 p.m.

After a year, the license will become permanent. Things like taking drivers ed, being an honor student and the vehicle’s safety features can help lower the rate of their insurance coverage.

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