Deputy Commissioner’s Message
Dear Parents and Prospective Drivers,
As Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS), and on behalf of all of our staff, it gives me great pride to be able to present to you the DDS 40-hour Parent Teen Driving Guide. If you are reading this Guide, it most likely means that you are not only the parent or guardian of a teen who is seeking to obtain a Class D provisional license, but also will be using its training materials in order for your teen to satisfy the behind-the-wheel component of Georgia’s driver training requirements.
As a highway safety professional, I firmly believe that driver education not only creates safer drivers on our roadways, but also has proven to be the one of the best highway safety investments we can make in order to reduce teen driving fatalities. I also firmly believe that motor vehicle crashes and the fatalities and injuries they cause are preventable. According to the latest statistics published by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, in 2015, there were 385,221 motor vehicle crashes reported in Georgia resulting in 1,430 deaths. 388 of these fatalities were the result of not being properly restrained by a seatbelt; 366 were the result of impaired driving; and 216 were the result of speeding. Distracted driving also continues to be a grave concern to highway safety and a contributing factor in many crashes. Remember, please, to buckle-up, slow down, never drive impaired, and always pay attention while driving. Put the phone down. No phone call, text message, or email is worth the risk it poses to you, passengers in your vehicle, or other drivers.
Specific questions about information include in the Guide can be submitted to DDS via the “Ask Teen Driver” email found at the DDS website, www.dds.georgia.gov. Also, remember that you can save time by using DDS Online Services for most DDS services, including upgrading your Class D Provisional License to a Class C Full License.
Ricky H. Rich
40-Hour Parent/Teen Driving Guide
The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) wishes to gratefully acknowledge the contributions, information, and materials provided as a part of the “40-Hour Parent/Teen Driving Guide” (Guide) by the Virginia Department of Education.
The guide is made available as a public service, without express or implied warranties of any kind and DDS expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the guide. The following notices and disclaimers also apply:
- DDS has compiled the materials for the GUIDE exclusively for its noncommercial, nonprofit, educational use. Any review or use of the GUIDE is limited exclusively to noncommercial, educational review, and the contents of the GUIDE may not be used for any commercial purposes.
- Certain materials and information included within DDS’s GUIDE are protected by United States and foreign copyright, trademark and other intellectual property laws. The material and information included within the GUIDE is the property of DDS, the Virginia Department of Education, or other parties, and DDS and such other parties each have the right to enforce their rights therein.
- DDS has either obtained or is in the process of obtaining the necessary permissions, rights, assignments, or licenses for those materials that DDS does not already own. Because the copyrights or other intellectual property rights of certain materials may be held by third parties other than DDS, any persons wishing to copy, use, disseminate, modify or otherwise do anything with the GUIDE are hereby placed on notice that the following activities may constitute a violation of the rights of the copyright or other intellectual property rights of such other owners, for which DDS expressly disclaims any and all liability. Until all necessary rights have been obtained, possession, use and copying of the GUIDE will be limited to the rights DDS owns, has obtained or has been granted, the rights granted under the fair use doctrine and other provisions of the Copyright, intellectual property and other laws of the United States and the State of Georgia, and the rights and obligations imposed by the open meetings and open records laws of the State of Georgia.
- No person or entity may modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, distribute, broadcast, transmit, retransmit, display, perform, publish, license, create derivative works of, transfer, sell, or resell the GUIDE in whole or in part or in any way without the prior, express, written permission of the owner thereof, and one cannot assume that DDS is the owner in every instance. Any copyright, trademark, and other notices must remain intact. Unauthorized use of the logos, designs and trademarks of DDS or other third parties is not permitted. Nor may any person or entity in any way violate the copyright or other intellectual property rights of DDS or any provider of information, content, products or services to the GUIDE.
- Any commercial, for-profit or other unauthorized use of these materials owned by third parties without the express written permission of such third party and DDS may be actionable and is not authorized. Neither DDS nor its contributors shall be held liable for any improper or incorrect use of the materials and information described and/or contained in the GUIDE and DDS or its contributors assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of, or actions with respect to, the GUIDE or materials and information contained therein.
- Since the GUIDE contains content that is supplied by third parties, any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, users, or others, are those of the respective authors or owners and do not necessarily state or reflect those of DDS.
- All GUIDE materials and information are provided “AS IS” without warranty of any kind. DDS makes no representations and, to the fullest extent allowed by law, disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose regarding the accuracy, reliability, suitability, completeness or timeliness of any items contained within the GUIDE.
- Neither DDS nor its contributors shall be held liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information described and/or contained in the GUIDE, and DDS assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the GUIDE or information contained therein.
- In no event will DDS or its contributors be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the use or inability to use the GUIDE or any items or information contained therein even if advised of the possibility of such damages. In no event shall DDS or its contributors be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, or consequential damages (including, but not limited to, procurement of substitute goods or services; loss of use, data, or profits; or business interruption) however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability, or tort (including negligence or otherwise), arising in any way out of the possession or use of the GUIDE even if advised of the possibility of such damage.
- DDS does not endorse individual vendors, products or services. Reference herein or in the GUIDE to any specific commercial products, processes, or services by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name, does not constitute or imply DDS’s endorsement, recommendation, approval or favoring by DDS, and such reference shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.
- In the State of Georgia, laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public’s right to access public records. These exceptions serve various needs, including maintaining the privacy of individuals. Both state and federal laws provide exceptions. The GUIDE is expressly subject to the open records and open meetings laws of the State of Georgia.
- Anyone doing anything with the GUIDE agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless DDS and its contributors and their respective directors,
officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, arising out of the possession, copying or other use of the GUIDE by such user or for such user’s account.
All requests or questions with respect to the GUIDE should be sent to: Georgia Department of Driver Services, Governmental Affairs and Communication Division, 2206 East View Parkway, Conyers, Georgia 30013.
Parenting the Driving Experience
Your teen has reached an important milestone; an INSTRUCTIONAL PERMIT (also known as the Learner’s Permit). It is our hope that acquiring mature driving skills and judgment will be a rewarding experience for you and your teenager. With your involvement, it can also be a safe experience. This 40-hour parent/teen driving guide provides suggestions for in-car lessons to help you assist your teen in making this step to adulthood more successful for both of you.
How do you teach a 16-year-old not to be a 16-year-old behind the wheel of an automobile? Unfortunately, there is no magic formula to prepare your teenager for the responsibilities of driving. Driver education at its best is a team effort involving schools, communities, students, and families.
Cars do not crash; people crash them. In 2015, there were 180 roadway fatalities in Georgia among persons under age 21. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death of teens in the United States (based on the latest mortality data currently available from the National Center for Health Statistics). According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2,715 drivers ages 13-19 were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationally in 2015.
The Teenage & Adult Driver Responsibility Act (TADRA) was established in Georgia by a collaborative effort of highway safety advocates, legislators, law enforcement officials, educators, businesses and media in the wake of a high number of fatal vehicle crashes involving young, inexperienced drivers. TADRA involves an intense, three-step education process that allows the young driver to gain more experience behind the wheel. Additionally, it also requires that prior to the issuance of a Class D license you must have completed a cumulative total of at least forty (40) hours of other supervised driving experience, including at least six (6) hours at night.
All 16-year-olds applying for a Class D driver’s license must complete an approved driver education course and complete a total of 40 hours of supervised driving, 6 hours of which must be at night, with a parent or guardian’s sworn verification that these requirements have been met. Any Georgia resident who has not completed an approved driver education course must be at least 17 years old to be eligible for a Class D driver’s license and he or she must have completed a total of at least 40 hours of supervised driving, including at least 6 hours at night. The same verification in writing by a parent or guardian is required. This manual is designed to help you achieve the required driving experience to qualify for a Class D driver’s license.
The ability to move a car skillfully is not the same thing as the ability to drive safely. Steering the vehicle is a relatively simple skill that most people can master in a short period of time. Driving is a complex task requiring mastery of various performance skills. It requires processing and accurately evaluating risk in the driving environment, developing appropriate responses to minimize risk, and gaining experience to predict what action others may take.
This technical assistance guide provides you with a systematic approach to guide your teen towards remaining collision-free in both low- and high-risk driving environments. The suggested lessons in this guide follow a sequential learning pattern that progresses from the parking lot to neighborhoods, to light traffic, to rural highways, to expressways and then to city driving. Each lesson provides you with an estimated amount of time the teen will need to achieve mastery; however, because teens have different abilities and learning styles you need to spend as much time as necessary to allow your teen to master the skills before moving on to the next lesson. Research shows that in order for young drivers to remain collision-free, parents must model safe driving behaviors and invest in meaningful guided practice over a long period of time to turn these skills into good driving habits!
If neither parent has a valid driver’s license, a friend or relative can conduct the guided practice sessions. Because parents and guardians play such a significant role in the development of safe driving habits, parents should remain involved in the learning process as observers in the car during the guided practice sessions. Knowing your teen is a skilled, safety-conscious driver will give you peace of mind in the years to come.
In addition to sharpening your driving skills, it is our hope the guided practice sessions presented in this guide will provide your teen with a solid foundation to develop safe, collision-free driving habits that will last a lifetime.