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My name is Lee Wallace, and I am a personal injury attorney in Atlanta,
Georgia. I have written several blog entries about a report from the
American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation about teenage driving.

In the report,
Distracted Driving Among Newly Licensed Teen Drivers, AAA studied teenagers with brand new drivers’ licenses. When it
realized that some of the kids had siblings who were slightly older, but
still teenagers, it included those teenagers in the study’s results.
With parents’ permission, AAA installed recording devices in the
cars these teens would be driving. The devices included cameras that recorded
video out the front windshield, as well as looking into the interior of
the vehicle.

Along with the study results, AAA released a number of videos of the teenagers
who had been filmed. The video clips are extremely grainy and hard to
make out, but you can still see enough to know that they depict the exact
things that you, as a parent, have been terrified about for your teenage
driver. These clips do not show teen drivers causing wrecks in Georgia
(or wherever they were filmed), but they do show the sort of reckless
behavior that parents wake up at night worrying about. The behaviors easily
could have caused a car accident; it’s just that in these cases,
everyone was lucky and nothing happened.

(1) Joy Ride on Dirt. In this clip, a teen driver is driving a pickup truck
along a dirt road. Passengers can be seen bouncing in the open bed of
the truck.

(2) Cell Phone Driver at Bus Stop. A young driver is talking on a cell
phone, and fails to notice that cars are stopping for a school bus. He
slams on the brakes at the last minute.

(3) Cannot Hear You Stopping! A teen driver is playing loud music and runs
a stop sign as he turns right.

(4) Drive Along Not Sing Along. A teen driver sings and dances along with
the radio, leaving one hand off the steering wheel for an extended period of time.

(5) Accidentally Crossing Double Yellow Lines at Night. A teenager, who
was driving at night, swerves across the double yellow lines, nearly striking
the median.

(6) Bragging About Running a Red Light. In my opinion, AAA’s title
for this clip was not fair. The teen does talk about the fact that she
ran the red light, and tries to pass it off casually, but from my listen
to the video, she did not seem to be proud of what she had done or to
be bragging about it.

(7) Quick Turn in the Rain. On a rainy night, a driver makes a quick turn
into a parking lot. Her passenger seems unnerved by her driving.

(8) Talk to Your Mom Later. It doesn’t take much imagination to guess
what this clip contains: a teen talking on a cell phone.

In all, AAA has posted 16 video clips that it believes show risky driving
behavior by young teen drivers.

I thought it would be interesting to view some of these video clips from
the standpoint of Georgia law, looking at the question of which Georgia
statutes might apply. In some of the clips, the young driver is actually
violating the law. In other videos, the drivers are engaging in risky
behavior, but not necessarily violating the law.

As part of my role as a Douglasville car accident lawyer, I easily could
have seen these kids rolling into my office in wheelchairs, or their parents
coming in desolated by the loss of a very beloved child. One of the reasons
I wanted to use these clips is precisely because mercifully no one was
injured, and no one showed up at my Atlanta personal injury law practice
because of the behavior of these teens. Hopefully other teens can look
at the types of risks these teenagers took, and it will help them think
of what they do not want to do when they drive.


Lee’s peers have named her a Georgia SuperLawyer every year for two decades.