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The Michigan's Graduated Driver Licensing: A Guide for Parents contains valuable information on Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL), driver education, available resources, and more. Parents and teens are encouraged to read this publication and maintain it for reference as they go through the GDL process.
Sixteen- and 17-year-old drivers have the highest crash rates of any age group. Crash rates peak during the first six months of licensure that teens drive without supervision, making this an essential time for parents to be involved with their teen drivers. The major reason for crashes among newly licensed drivers is the failure to identify potential risks and react appropriately.
Our culture tends to view teens as young adults when, neurologically, they are only large children. The area of the brain that regulates logic and reasoning develops before the area that controls impulse and emotion. Young drivers often do not have the full capacity to control impulses. Inexperience and immaturity combine to make young drivers especially at-risk in five circumstances:
It is important that adults provide guidance, oversight and set limits for their teen drivers. Parents, guardians, and mentors, play a critical role in helping teens survive their most dangerous driving years. Parents who set, monitor and enforce safe driving practices have teens that are less likely to receive traffic tickets or be involved in traffic crashes.
A teen's first year behind the wheel is critical. That is why Michigan and other states across the country have adopted GDL laws for teen driv ers. GDL is designed to help teens gradually and safely build their skills and experience behind the wheel and is responsible for 20- to 40-percent reductions in teen crashes. In Michigan, GDL consists of two segments of driver education instruction and three licensing levels.
Driver Education: Driver Education Segment 1 includes a minimum of 24 hours of classroom instruction; minimum of six hours of behind the-wheel instruction; and a minimum of four hours of observation time as a passenger in a training vehicle. Driver Education Segment 2 includes a minimum of six hours of classroom instruction.
Level 1 Learner's License* - Teens with a Level 1 License may only drive with a licensed parent, guardian or designated licensed adult age 21 or older.
Authorized activity means any of the following:
*It is illegal for any teen driver with a GDL Level 1or Level 2 to use a cell phone while driving. "Use" means to initiate a call; answer a call; or listen to or engage in verbal communication through a cell phone. This does not apply if the teen is using a voice-operated system that is integrated into the vehicle or if they use the cell phone to: 1) Report a traffic accident, medical emergency or serious road hazard, 2) Report a situation in which the teen believes his or her personal safety is in jeopardy, and 3) Report or prevent the commitment of a crime or potential crime against the teen or another person.
Level 3 Full License -Teens with a Level 3 license have no state-imposed license restrictions.
For More Information, read Michigan’s Graduated Driver Licensing: A Guide for Parents, or check out the Michigan Secretary of State’s website on Graduated Driver’s Licenses for parents.