Teens get behind the wheel, but not on the roads - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Teens get behind the wheel, but not on the roads

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Lee Co. family offers reward for missing jewelry

    Lee Co. family offers reward for missing jewelry

    Thursday, August 21 2014 1:00 PM EDT2014-08-21 17:00:25 GMT
    A Lee County family is offering a reward tonight to catch a thief they say stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from their home.More >>
    A Lee County family is offering a reward tonight to catch a thief they say stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from their home.More >>
  • Phoebe to hold blood drive Thursday

    Phoebe to hold blood drive Thursday

    Thursday, August 21 2014 12:26 PM EDT2014-08-21 16:26:11 GMT
    (Phoebe Putney)(Phoebe Putney)
    The gift of life is priceless and it is a gift that many can give Thursday, at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. Phoebe's current drive is part of an ongoing effort to encourage all who qualify to give blood.More >>
    The gift of life is priceless and it is a gift that many can give Thursday, at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. Phoebe's current drive is part of an ongoing effort to encourage all who qualify to give blood.More >>
  • GEMA offers 10 tips during extreme heat

    GEMA offers 10 tips during extreme heat

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:50 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:50:56 GMT
    A heat wave will make it feel like the temperature is over 100º in the next couple of days in South Georgia. The CDC says extreme heat is the top weather-related killer in the nation, claiming approximately 400 lives per year. More >>
    A heat wave will make it feel like the temperature is over 100º in the next couple of days in South Georgia. The CDC says extreme heat is the top weather-related killer in the nation, claiming approximately 400 lives per year. More >>

Dougherty County - 1.5 million Georgia teenagers are licensed to drive, but only one in three of those teens received formal driver's education. Right now, driver's education isn't mandatory in Georgia though that could change soon. A new national program called Safe America teaches safe driving by putting teens behind the wheel, but not on the roads.

Safe America brought driving simulators into Dougherty High School to help students become safer drivers by teaching important driving lessons. "Steering, braking, staying on the road, staying the lane, steering through cones. Actually, the same kind of feel if you were going through a driving course in an actual car at the DMV," said one student.

"These kids may never receive any driver's education. Either it's not available or it's too expensive. That's why Safe America has taken on the challenge of helping these teens," said Pat Wilder, Safe America.

The national organization is going school to school training students on the driving simulators. Two in five teen aged drivers are involved in a car wreck each year in Georgia. The main reason why,"speeding, inexperience, and distractions," said Wilder. The simulators help teens avoid these common and sometimes deadly driving mistakes.

"While it's not live street driving, this is the first step in the right direction to prepare them for street driving," said State Farm Insurance Agent Jan Cooper.

Jan Cooper says insuring a teen driver is always a risk. Driver's education lowers that risk, and that's why State Farm awarded Dougherty High $5,000 to grow the Safe America driving program - a program that will hopefully prevent these students from becoming the next traffic statistic.

A bill called Joshua's Law would require Driver's Education in Georgia. It passed the House and Senate and is waiting the Governor's approval.

posted at 6:15PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com