Why did road fatalities spike in 2021?
On Oct. 28, 2021, the US Dept. of Transportation raised the red flag due to an alarming road fatalities spike. During the first half of 2021, an estimated 20,160 people died in motor vehicle crashes, up 18.4% over the same time period in 2020. That’s the largest number of projected fatalities in that time period since 2006.
US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in an official press release…
This is a crisis. More than 20,000 people died on U.S. roads in the first six months of 2021, leaving countless loved ones behind. We cannot and should not accept these fatalities as simply a part of everyday life in America.
Today we are announcing that we will produce the Department’s first ever National Roadway Safety Strategy to identify action steps for everyone working to save lives on the road. No one will accomplish this alone. It will take all levels of government, industries, advocates, engineers, and communities across the country working together toward the day when family members no longer have to say goodbye to loved ones because of a traffic crash.
What caused the road fatalities spike?
According to data released by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, several factors have contributed to the road fatalities spike including the following.
- Traveling without a seat belt
- More people on the roads
- Driver distraction
- Impaired driving
How to combat the road fatalities spike?
“Safer roads and safer speeds are key parts of addressing this crisis of fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways,” said Acting FHWA Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “We are committed to a Safe System Approach and to working closely with local and state transportation agencies to make every road that is designed or built with federal funds safe for everyone who uses it.”
The Department’s first ever National Roadway Safety Strategy will bring together work being done across USDOT and will put forth a comprehensive set of actions to significantly reduce serious injuries and deaths on our nation’s roadways. The strategy will recognize that, while the Department has an important leadership role to play in addressing this crisis, it will take concerted and coordinated effort across all levels of government, the private sector, and communities to reverse the current trend. The strategy will be released in January 2022.
Keeping teen drivers safe during the road fatalities spike
Joshua’s Law was revised in 2021 to keep teen drivers safer on the road, especially during these dangerous times.
Joshua’s Law is really pretty simple. It says if drivers are 16 or 17 and they want a Georgia driver’s license, they must to take an accredited driver’s education course or wait until 18 to get a license.
Under Joshua’s Law, to get a Class D driver’s license at the age of 16 or 17, new drivers must do the following.
- Hold an instructional permit for at least one year and one day.
- Complete a certified 30-hour driver education course that is approved by the Georgia Department of Driver Services.
- Complete a cumulative total of at least 40 hours of supervised driving experience, which must include at least six hours of nighttime driving.
- Applicants must pass the road skills test with a minimum score of 75%.
Choose the best driving school for your teen driver
Due to inexperience, teens are always in danger, especially when road fatalities spike. That’s why it’s important to choose the best driving school that will teach lifelong good driving skills, not just how to pass the test.
Here are some suggested steps to find the best driving school for your teen driver.
Do your homework
First and foremost, it’s important to do your homework. Learning how to drive is a serious issue. So, it’s very important to pick the best driving school in Atlanta for your new and inexperienced teen driver.
Yes, it can all be a bit confusing. Yes, all schools will meet Joshua’s Law requirements. Most will offer both a classroom session and driving lessons. That’s why it’s important to dig deeper, dear parents. What you see is not always what you get. So, go ahead and jump in. Start your research, but Drive Smart Georgia suggests that you consider these things when choosing the best driving school in Atlanta for your teen driver.
Is it a DUI school?
Many, many driving schools in Atlanta offer a DUI program. If you’re looking for a place that specializes in teaching teens how to drive, a driving school that puts a big emphasis on their DUI program may not be the best fit for your teen driver. Look for one that specializes in teen drivers only, like Drive Smart Georgia.
Is there more than one student in the car at a time?
Most driving schools offer in-car driving lessons, but many will put more than one student in the car. If you want individualized, one-on-one lessons, look for a driving school that offers driving lessons with one student and one instructor in the automobile at a time.
Is the driving school approved by AAA?
The nation’s leading authority on automobile safety is AAA. If you’re a concerned parent who is uncomfortable evaluating driving schools, the AAA network of approved schools is a good place to start.
Through its local managers and safety experts, AAA continuously monitors the quality of driving schools, ensuring that its standards are constantly met. In Georgia, there are only two AAA-approved driving schools, including Drive Smart Georgia.
Tour the driving school facilities
When looking for the best driving school in Atlanta for your teen driver, be sure to tour the facilities. Are the classrooms bright and sunny or dull and outdated? Are the books dog-eared and worn-out? Does it use flat screen TVs large enough for all to see, even those students in the back row? You can tell a ton about a driving school just by walking around.
Examine the fleet
When it’s time to send your child out on his first in-car driving lesson, you want to make sure the car is safe, dependable, and clean. If you wouldn’t want to drive the car, you certainly don’t want your teen learning how to drive in it.
Be sure to ask questions about the automobiles and accident rates before choosing a driving school. Plus, make sure the school has an area to practice those new driving skills.
Will you be informed of your teen driver’s progress?
All driving schools will gladly take your hard-earned money, but not all will follow-through with you. When choosing the best driving school that meets Joshua’s Law requirements, ask the schools if they will provide you with report cards on your child’s progress.
Ask to actually see one. If it doesn’t clearly communicate the skills your child has mastered and those that need work, move on. It’s important that driving schools keep you informed every step of the way.
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- New Georgia Drivers Ed law now applies to 16- and 17-year-old drivers
- Why have teens delayed getting a driver’s license?
- What is Joshua’s Law? A guide for parents to limit teen driver dangers