One of biggest decisions of a teenager’s life is to learn how to drive. An exciting yet nerve-racking time, parents share the highs and lows involved in this chapter of their children’s lives.
While undoubtedly a life-changing experience for teens, for many parents this is a time of great worry. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the US, with statistics showing that young drivers are most likely to crash during the first six months of getting their license.
However, what many parents aren’t aware of is a law called ‘GDL’.
GDL stands for Graduated Driver Licensing. Just like all states, Houston Texas has a GDL law, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it can help reduce teen crash risk by as much as 50%.
Here’s how the law works, and what parents can do additionally to keep their teen drivers safe:
- GDL is a law for both parents and teens to follow
This law allows parents to set limits on their teen drivers and guide them into taking safety precautions to prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths. Research has indicated that parents have the greatest influence over their teen’s behavior, and young drivers who follow their parents’ rules and have their driving monitored are half as likely to crash and 50% more likely to wear seat belts than those with less involved parents.
GDL is a set of rules, split into two phases:
The teen must:
- Be at least 15 years of age
- Complete a driver education course, such as the Drivers Ed program provided by IMPROV™ Traffic School https://www.myimprov.com/drivers-education/texas
- You can also take a Parent Taught Drivers Ed Program as well: https://www.myimprov.com/drivers-education/texas/parent-taught-drivers-ed/
- Have a learner’s license and be accompanied by a licensed driver aged 21 or older who occupies the front seat when driving
- Have 30 hours of supervised driving, with 10 of those being at night
- Fulfill a 6-month waiting period after the learner’s license is issued for practicing driving with experienced drivers aged 21 or older
- Do not use wireless communication devices, hands-free or not
- Always wear a seatbelt (don’t forget, it’s the law)
- Must be at least 16 years of age (not issued until six months after the learner’s license is issued, so age can vary) and expires on the teen’s 18th birthday
- Receive a Provisional License, which means the teen can drive solo
- Cannot operate a vehicle with more than one passenger who is under the age of 21 and not a family member, unless a licensed driver 21 or older is in the front seat
- Not use wireless communication devices when driving, hands-free or not
- Always wear a seatbelt, as stated by law
- When combined with a defensive driving course, the GDL law can help parents keep their teen drivers safe
Did you know that recent studies have shown teens are at a disadvantage not only due to a lack of driving experience, but also because of incomplete development of the prefrontal cortex of the brain? This part of the brain helps weigh up the repercussions of taking risks.
To fast-track their development and give them the driving experience they need to understand safe driving and how to act during a dangerous situation, a defensive driving course can be a fantastic, interactive option.
IMPROV™ Traffic School uses an edutainment format, combining humor and entertaining elements while teaching instructive and education defensive driving basics. It is the perfect way for teens to upskill. Click the link below for more information: https://www.myimprov.com/defensive-driving/texas/tx-online-course/
Parents in the know can help reduce the risks that young drivers face
By understanding the GDL law, guiding your teens through phase one and two of the rules, monitoring their driving and asking them to attend a Houston defensive driving course your teenagers will be better prepared and enjoy safe, confident driving for years to come.
IMPROV™ Traffic School is a division of the Interactive Education Concepts, Inc, boasting some of the best and most-used online driving courses in the US. Based on the notion that driver education doesn’t have to be dry and boring, they’ve won many awards for ‘Best Traffic School’. To learn more about their courses, visit their website: https://www.myIMPROV.com/.
Our Traffic School was created in partnership with the World Famous Improv Comedy Club to make it Fun, Fast, and Effective. Improv Traffic School’s unique edutainment courses have won copious accolades from students and the media resulting in our being…
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