Thursday, April 26, 2012

Teen Driver Safety

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A driver’s license and the car keys – it’s every teenager’s dream, and most parent’s worst nightmare. While mom and dad cringe as their baby backs out the driveway, alone – for the very first time, the teen’s heart races with the sudden freedom to go where he wants without the ‘rents hovering over him in smothering, over-protection.

Be a good role model. Remember that your child looks to you as a driver, so practice safe driving yourself. Set aside time to take your teen on practice driving sessions. It can be a great way to spend time together and to allow your teen to improve some basic driving skills. Your teen’s learning starts at home.

Learn about the state restrictions from the graduated driver licensing (GDL) program. Know the restrictions placed on your teen’s license and enforce those limits. Texas along with 46 States and the District of Columbia now have GDL programs that limit high-risk driving situations for new drivers. 
The Texas Graduated Driver License Program became effective in 2002, and created two phases of driving requirements for minors:
 Phase One 
Texas drivers under 18 years of age, must:
  1. Hold a learner or hardship license for a minimum of six months.  
  2. Be accompanied by a person at least 21 years of age.  
  3. Maintain a valid learner license.  If a learner license is suspended or revoked, the remaining six-month period must be completed after the suspension has ended.
With the completion of phase one, reaching the age of 16, and the completion of the classroom and driving portions of driver education, a minor is eligible to obtain a provisional license and "graduates" to phase two. 

Phase Two 
restricts the driving privileges of provisional license holders, and motorcycle/moped license holders (under 17 years of age), during the twelve-month period following the issuance of the license. The following restrictions apply:
  1. May not operate a motor vehicle with more than one passenger in the vehicle under the age of 21 who is not a family member,
  2. May not operate a motor vehicle, or a motorcycle/moped unless in sight of the person’s parent/guardian, between midnight and 5:00 a.m. unless the operation of the vehicle is necessary for the operator to attend or participate in employment or a school-related activity or because of a medical emergency,
  3. May not operate a motor vehicle while using a wireless communication device, except in case of an emergency. 
  4. The restriction will be stated on license and will indicate the date phase two expires.
Upon completion of phase two, the restrictions no longer apply.
Obviously parents worry isn't without reason, teenage drivers are at incredibly high risk of accident or injury while on  the road. The thing is, parents are supposed to be over protective and parents have more influence on your teen than they may think. If you want to ensure your teenagers safety, have them drive a 2012 Nissan Rogue SUV that NHTSA ratedfront impact: 4-of-5 stars and side impact: 5-of-5 stars.

1 comment:

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