Before handing the keys to the car to your teenager this summer, are you sure your teen is adequately prepared and mature enough to take on the serious business of driving? Remember these words from a parent victim speaker, “The worst day you have arguing with your kid is better than any day you will live without him”, then properly prepare yourself to teach your teen to drive.
I am a traffic safety injury prevention educator at a local hospital. I teach youth and parents how to utilize GDL components effectively. In an effort to reach more parents with this important information, I am sharing much of what I teach.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for US teens. Sixty-one percent of teen passengers are killed while riding with a teen driver. In response to those two facts, most US states and territories have adopted GDL laws. GDL is the acronym for Graduated Driver’s Licensing. While GDL does not guarantee your teen will avoid being involved or injured in a crash, understanding how to evaluate the teen driver’s maturity and experience combined with effectively utilizing the law can increase his or her safety.
Caution! The information I teach does NOT replace the value or importance of attending a formal driver education class, nor should Parents rely upon the formal driving course as a guarantee of a teen’s driving expertise.
The fact is, there is NO substitute for a Parent investing at least two years of driving practice to develop a teen’s skills and maturity before licensing a youth for driving responsibility.
You spent the first two years of your child’s life teaching him to crawl, walk and talk. I do not know of one child killing another and himself when learning to crawl, walk or talk, however, 6,000 American 16-year old teens needlessly die annually from driving inexperience and immaturity.
The Second article in the series offers several tips when making decisions about Teens transporting passengers.
Attention Parents of Teens!
Every state is different! CAUTION! If your teen has a license with plans to go out-of-state to prep school or college, be sure to familiarize yourself with the GDL laws of the state in which he/she will be attending school. California REQUIRES youth to attend classes and be re-licensed in California before being a legal driver.
How to Utilize GDL Effectively handout
Here is a pdf copy of How to Utilize GDL Effectively Revised 12-10 How_to_Effectively_Utilize_Handout-_pdot_logo which includes a Teen Driver Contract for Oregon youth. Visit your Department of Transportation for a complete over-view of GDL laws for your state.
Need More Info?
For more tips about Utilizing GDL laws effectively be sure to read the other Teen Driver Safety articles, click links belowor visit the Resources for Parents page of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center where you will find an ‘editable’ copy of the Teen Driver Contract.
For more information about Teen Driver Safety; Registering for Teen Driving Safety classes or if you are a healthcare professional and interested in developing Teen Driving Safety classes at your hospital, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Gifts that Say I Love You
For a great Parent to Teen positive and simple reminder to ‘buckle up’, give a traffic safety key charm sold only in my Etsy shop.