Teens No Longer Required to take Road Tests…Fallout from the Coronavirus Pandemic

As one of the first states to begin re-opening from the COVID-19 quarantine, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order temporarily waiving the requirement for most automobile road tests.

Specifically, if an individual holds an instructional permit, they now qualify for their driver’s license without taking the “comprehensive on-the-road driving test.”

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This action means that thousands of minors will obtain a valid driver’s license without taking an actual road test to see if they are fit to drive on the roadways.

Before the Corona virus, 5,000 Georgia teens per week took the official road test.

At the time of the executive order, more than 30,000 people were requesting to take the test, but now they have been given permission to skip it.

It is unknown what other states in our regional area (Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee) will do in the coming weeks and months, but this type of action could have a significant impact not just on the safety of our roadways—but it may also create a serious dilemma for parents of teenagers.

The dilemma: “Do I let my ‘legal’ teenage son or daughter drive my car?”

This is an important question to ask because most states, including Arkansas, recognize a legal concept called “Negligent Entrustment.”

In simple terms, this means loaning your car to someone that you know should not be driving your vehicle.

The easiest example is the person that observes their best friend extremely intoxicated, stumbling around, but says “you can drive my car.”

In that scenario, the person loaning the car knew, or should have known, that loaning their car to the drunk person was a dangerous idea, likely to cause harm to others.

New rules like the one being tested in Georgia, may create a similar negligent entrustment dilemma for parents.

This will unfortunately be a very case-by-case decision, with no clear parameters.

If you just took your teenager for a recent test drive, and you were scared for your life, do you let them drive your car?

These are decisions that are becoming new problems as we try to adjust to life after quarantine.

The Keith Law Group has proudly represented thousands of individuals who were injured because of car accidents, and we are very familiar with negligent entrustment cases.

We have represented clients from Northwest Arkansas, Central Arkansas, and the Arkansas Delta in these types of cases—and with our proven results, and focus on personal attention to our clients’ needs, we will make sure your case gets the treatment it deserves.

If you, or someone you care about, is a victim of a negligent entrustment case in Northwest Arkansas, call, text, or email us now to discuss your potential case.

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