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Understanding Graduated Licensing Laws Is Key

The majority of parents of teenagers list car crashes as their top safety concern. Teen drivers have a well-earned reputation for dangerous driving. One of the ways to combat the problems of teen drivers is to introduce them more slowly to the experience of driving. Graduated Driver Licensing programs, such as the one in New Jersey, help teens gain the experience they need before confronting them with all of the pressures that driving can include. By giving teens a partial right to drive, GDL programs have helped reduce teen accident rates. Unfortunately, many parents do not understand the GDL restrictions and so do not help their teen drivers get the most out of the program.

The New Jersey Teen Safe Driving Coalition recently polled parents of teen drivers to gauge their understanding of the GDL program. That poll revealed that 68 percent of New Jersey parents did not have an adequate understanding of the program. The survey also revealed that the majority of parents do not consider themselves the "most important driver teacher" for their teens. The survey shows that parents could do more to help their teens become safe drivers. 

The process of getting a full license is undoubtedly more complex than many parents remember from their youth. The GDL program includes restrictions about passengers, when the teen can be on the road, when the teen must be supervised and more. The state does provide a helpful guide for parents, breaking down the basics of the GDL program.

The vast majority of car accidents are preventable. Driver error is responsible for most crashes. Anything that can be done to help teens avoid car accidents is a good thing.

Source: NorthJersey.com, "Understanding state teen licensing law," 18 September 2015 

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