Safe2Drive Blog

7/26/2021

Indiana Work Permit Changes for Minors

by Courtney Conley

If you’re a teen or a parent of a teen in Indiana, there are some changes you should know about regarding work permits.

Teen Working on Computer

The Benefits of Teens Working

Part-time jobs have many benefits for teens. A Pew study in 2009 found that for every year a teen works, their income rises about 14% to 16% in their twenties. This research also tells us that employed teens are less likely to become pregnant, become addicted to drugs, and it even reduces their risk of future incarceration.

Jobs also help teens prepare for their future as part of the workforce. A summer job scooping ice cream may not seem directly related to a future career as an attorney, for example, but the interpersonal skills teens learn while working are priceless. Plus, what teen doesn’t want a little extra pocket money?

Teen Work Permits in Indiana

Previously, Indiana teens needed to obtain a work permit from their schools in order to start working. This process can slow things down as teens wait for school administrations to provide their work permits, especially during the summer.

How Many Hours Can Teens in Indiana Work?

Of course, the amount of hours teens can work is restricted. This ensures that teens still have time to be teens. They still need to attend school, participate in any extracurricular activities they’re interested in, and just hang out! Here are the working restrictions all employers in Indiana must follow:

Indiana teens ages 14 to 15 are restricted to:

  • 3 hours of work per school day
  • 8 hours of work each non-school day
  • A total of 18 hours per school week
  • No more than 40 hours per non-school week

Teens ages 14 to 15 are not permitted to work before 7:00 am or after 7:00 pm, though from June 1st through Labor Day, they may work until 9:00 pm except on days followed by a school day. They may only work outside of school hours.

Indiana teens age 16 and 17 are restricted to:

  • 9 hours of work per day
  • 40 hours of work per school week
  • 48 hours of per per non-school week
  • No more than 6 consecutive workdays

Teens age 16 and 17 cannot start work from 12:00 am and 6:00 am, and they may only work until 10:00 pm on nights followed by a school day.

If they have written parental permission, teens age 16 and 17 can work until 11:00 pm on nights followed by a school day. There are no restrictions on end time on nights not followed by a school day.

Teens age 16 and 17 are not permitted to work in an establishment that is open to the public between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am, unless they’re accompanied by another employee who is at least age 18 and also works during the same work hours as the minor employee.

Youth Employment Employer Registration System

As of July 1, 2021, Indiana teens are no longer required to obtain a work permit from their schools, and employers of minors are not required to complete the "Intent to Employ" form. Instead, employers with five or more minor employees are required to keep an updated list of all employees under age 18. If there are 4 or fewer minor employees, the employer isn’t required to use the new system. All employers are still required to comply with the teen work hour restrictions outlined above.

Please note than all Indiana employers are required to keep all work permits issued prior to July 1, 2021 for two years. Schools are no longer responsible for registering employees under age 18 in Indiana; it is the legal responsibility of the employer.

The owner’s representative (not the individual workplace location) is now responsible for completing the initial registration in the system. Using the new Youth Employment Registration System, the representative will need to list each individual work location and grant access to the various individual managers. When the initial registration is complete, individual managers can access the portal for their location and enter information for all minor employees.

Penalties For Noncompliance with the Youth Employment System

Of course, there will be penalties for employers in Indiana who do not comply with the new Youth Employment System (YES) requirements. Employers with 5 or more minor employees who fail to use YES to register minor employees, fail to remove a minor employee from the system when they are no longer employed, or fail to update the number of minor employees in YES will face a fine between $100 to $400 per infraction.

Benefits of Indiana New YES Program

The YES program was designed to streamline the process for teens who want to work and the employers who want to hire them. Employers of 5 or more minors will now be able to take the hiring process into their own hands instead of waiting on the school system to register teen workers. Removing this burden from school administrators allows them to focus on other school-related work.

This is also beneficial for employers who employ 4 or fewer minor employees, as they are not required to use the YES system. YES is easy to use and makes the process of hiring minors quick and painless. To learn more about YES, visit the Indiana Department of Labor’s website.

We hope this helps answer any questions you may have about the new Indiana Employer Registration system for minors! An important part of working as a teen is transportation. Indiana teens who are at least age 15 can take our Indiana Online Driver Education as a step in the process of obtaining their driver’s license. Click here to visit our website to register for the Indiana Online Driver Education course today!

If you’re a teen or a parent of a teen in Indiana, there are some changes you should know about regarding work permits.

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7/20/2021

Georgia Teens age 16 and 17 are Now Required to Take Driver Education

by Courtney Conley
Teen Driving with Mom

As of July 1, 2021, Georgia teens age 16 and 17 are required to complete a Driver Education course in order to obtain their Class D Provisional Driver’s License (i.e., intermediate license). This is a big change, as previously, teens age 17 were not required to complete a Driver Education course in order to earn their intermediate license.

In this post, we’ll explore how driver education works in Georgia, and what Georgia teens can expect when working towards earning their intermediate license. Let’s get started!

How does driver’s licensing work for Georgia teens?

Like other states, Georgia follows a graduated driver license program for teen drivers ages 15 to 18. The program is a three-step process that helps teens prepare for the responsibility of driving. As drivers progress from one step to another, their driving privileges increase and they’re given more responsibility. Along the way, they gain experience and knowledge of the roadway.

Let’s take a look at each step in the process.

Step One: Instructional Permit

You have to be at least 15 years old and pass a written examination to get your instructional permit. When you drive with this permit, you need to have a licensed driver who is at least age 21 in the front passenger seat at all times.

Step Two: Intermediate License

The next step is the intermediate stage. The Class D license is given to drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 who have met the following requirements:

  1. Have held an instructional permit for at least 12 months.
  2. Have passed a driving test.
  3. Have not been convicted of any major traffic violations that resulted in the suspension of your permit.
  4. For those under the age of 18, you must not be/have been withdrawn from school or have 10 or more unexcused school absences or any conduct infractions.
  5. Have met the requirements of Joshua’s Law (explained in more detail later in this post!).

Step Three: Full License

You must be at least 18 years old to get a full driver’s license, and you must have held an intermediate license without incurring any major traffic convictions during the previous 12 months.

What is Joshua’s Law?

Teen Driver with Keys

Joshua’s Law requires Georgia teens age 16 and 17 to complete an approved driver education course in order to receive their intermediate driver’s license. There are a few options for teen drivers to meet the requirement:

  1. Complete 30 hours of classroom instruction at a certified driving school, 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction with a certified driving school, and 40 hours of supervised driving with a parent or guardian, with 6 of the hours at night.
  2. Complete 30 hours of classroom instruction at a certified driving school, and 40 hours of parent-taught behind-the-wheel training (this includes 40 hours of supervised driving with a parent or guardian).
  3. Complete 30 hours of online instruction with a certified online program, 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a certified school, and 40 hours of supervised driving with a parent or guardian, with 6 of the hours at night.
  4. Complete 30 hours of online instruction with a certified online program, and 40 hours of parent-taught behind-the-wheel training (this includes 40 hours of supervised driving with a parent or guardian).

You should choose the option that works best for you and your family. An online course is typically the easiest option, as you can complete it from the comfort of your own home!

How can I earn my intermediate license at age 16 or 17 in Georgia?

As we mentioned, teens age 16 or 17 will need to meet Joshua’s Law requirements in order to receive their intermediate license, including completing a driver education course. Here’s what you need to know about how Safe2Drive’s course works:

Once you’ve turned age 18, you can apply for your full license as long as you hold an intermediate license and are free of any major traffic convictions for the previous year.

What should I bring to the DDS Office?

In order to apply for your intermediate license, you’ll need to bring the following items with you to the DDS office:

  • Proof of identity, address, Social Security Number, and U.S. citizenship/lawful presence in the U.S.
  • Notarized Certificate of Attendance (DDS-1) that has been signed within the last 30 days OR High School Diploma OR GED
  • ADAP or eADAP Certificate of Completion.
  • Completed application for a driver’s license. The application must be signed by your parent/legal guardian/responsible adult (this only applies to emancipated applicants with court-ordered documentation)/professional driving instructor if you are under the age of 18.
  • Proof of completion of the DDS-approved Parent/Teen Driving Guide OR Proof of 6 hours of on-the-road experience with a certified instructor. If you choose to do the 6 hours with a certified instructor, you must complete a cumulative total of at least 40 hours of other driving experience, including 6 hours at night.
  • Certificate of Completion from a DDS-approved driver education program (this is required for teens age 16 and 17).
  • License fee (you may pay by cash, money order, check, or credit/debit card).
  • Valid insurance card and vehicle registration for the vehicle you will use for the road skills test. The vehicle’s tag must not be expired.

After receiving your intermediate license, the final step in the licensing process is earning your full driver’s license!

What are the benefits of taking an online driver’s education course?

Online courses are usually more convenient for everyone’s busy schedule. Safe2Drive’s course is mobile and tablet-friendly, so your teen can complete it on the go, or at home! We’ll send you your Certificate of Completion via email so it’s easy to keep track of.

We’ve made sure our online course is educational while also being fun! We’ve included charts, illustrations, videos, and even games! We also provide step-by-step instructions and excellent customer service to make the process as smooth and painless as possible.

Are you ready to register for a Georgia Driver Education course? Click here to get started!

As of July 1, 2021, Georgia teens age 16 and 17 are required to complete a Driver Education course in order to obtain their Class D Provisional Driver’s License (i.e., intermediate license). This is a big change, as previously, teens age 17 were not required to complete a Driver Education course in order to earn their intermediate license.

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7/12/2021

How to Safely Travel with Your Pets

by Courtney Conley

As the weather warms up, many people are preparing to travel. We all know how important it is to make sure every passenger in the vehicle is safely buckled up, but you may not realize that this applies to our pets, too! With around 63.4 million American households owning dogs, it’s important to understand the risks associated with traveling with pets.

Driving with pets is distracting.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed 3,142 human lives in 2019. Distracted driving is an act of driving while engaging in other activities that take the driver’s attention away from the road.

While the most well-known form of distracted driving is probably cell phone use, there are many things that can distract us on the road.

In general, there are three types of driving distractions:

Three Distractions
  1. Manual Distractions. A manual distraction is anything that takes one or both of your hands off the steering wheel.
  2. Visual Distractions. Visual distractions are distractions that take your eyes off the road for any period of time.
  3. Cognitive Distractions. Cognitive distractions take your mind off driving.

How does this apply to pet owners? Well, according to a survey sponsored by AAA and Kurgo, 65% of respondents participated in a distracted driving activity while driving with a dog.

  • 52% said they have pet their dog while driving.
  • 23% used their arms or hands to hold their dog in place while braking.
  • 17% let their dog sit on their lap while driving.
  • 18% reached into the backseat to pet or interact with their dog.
  • 13% admitted to giving their dog food or treats while driving.

These are all distracted driving acts, and many fit into all three forms of distracted driving. It may seem harmless to let your pet ride on your lap or to reach back to hand them a treat, but when you drive distracted, you’re putting yourself and everyone around you at risk.

5 Tips for Driving with a Pet in Tow

Some states have specific laws about traveling with pets. For example, it’s common for states to prohibit drivers from driving with a pet on their lap. A few states even require pets to be secured in a carrier or wear a seat belt. Make sure you’re familiar with the laws in your state before you get in the car with your pet.

Now that you understand how dangerous it is to drive while distracted by your pet, let’s take a look at some ways to make travel safer for everyone.

1. Choose the proper restraint system for your pet.

Only 16% of survey participants said they use a pet restraint system while driving with their dogs. Choosing the proper restraint system is important for the safety of the driver and the pet. While drivers can be distracted by unrestrained pets, the pets themselves are in danger of injury or death in the event of a collision.

Luckily, there are many ways to make sure your pet is protected on the road. One option is to purchase a plush carry box like the one pictured below. These work well for smaller dogs and function much like a child’s safety seat. The box is secured to the seat with the seat belt. The lap part of the belt goes through the back of the box, firmly securing it to the seat.

This option allows your pup to keep an eye on the action around them while also keeping them safe and secured.

Plush Carry Box

Another option is a harness seatbelt like the one shown below. This option works well for both large and smaller dogs who are comfortable and calm on car rides. The harness plugs into the regular seat belt buckle to keep your pet secure and safe.

Harness Seat Belt

This next option may not be best if your pup is a little rambunctious, but if you have an older dog who likes to lounge, or another well-behaved dog, you could use a back seat hammock. The back seat hammock keeps your dog in place and prevents them from climbing up to the front seat of your vehicle.

If your dog is most comfortable traveling in a crate, make sure it’s secure and will not move around or fall over while the car is in motion. A flat surface is best.

The most important thing is that you and all of your passengers, including your pets, are safe and secured within the vehicle when you travel. Research your options and check with your vet if you have any questions about which safety system will work best for your pet.

2. Make sure your pet is acclimated before hitting the road.

Some pets get motion sickness in the car. Others can feel anxious while on the road. Get a feel for how your dog reacts to car rides before taking them on a longer trip. It may be helpful to get them used to the restraint system you choose before the drive as well. If your dog is struggling with their harness or in their crate, it can be a big distraction to the driver.

3. Plan ahead for stops.

When you’re planning a long trip, make sure you plan where you’re going to stop and make sure there will be rest areas for your dog. You can never leave your dog unattended in your vehicle, so make sure your stops are dog-friendly. Keep your car well-ventilated and remember to stop frequently for water and exercise breaks. You shouldn’t feed your dog while the car is in motion, as it’s a choking hazard.

If you plan ahead, your trip will go much more smoothly!

4. Never let your dog hang out the window.

We know how cute it is to see a dog enjoying the ride with their head out the window, but this is actually super dangerous for many reasons. Your dog may get hit with a flying object, or may try to exit the vehicle. Other drivers might get distracted by your dog and take their eyes off the road, causing a collision. It may be tempting to let your pet enjoy the fresh air on their little face, but it’s best to be responsible and keep everyone safe by keeping your dog secured in the vehicle.

5. Do not leave your pet alone in the car.

After just ten minutes in the sun, a stopped car can heat up by 19 degrees. Even if you crack a window, leaving your pet in a hot car can cause heatstroke or even death. Cold temperatures can also be extremely harmful.

We hope you found these tips helpful! Interested in learning more about traffic safety? Taking an online defensive driving course or an insurance discount course is a great way to help prepare you for any type of driving situation! Click here to visit our website to see the online courses we offer in your state!

p>As the weather warms up, many people are preparing to travel. We all know how important it is to make sure every passenger in the vehicle is safely buckled up, but you may not realize that this applies to our pets, too! With around 63.4 million American households owning dogs, it’s important to understand the risks associated with traveling with pets.

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7/6/2021

Summer Road Trip Hacks

by Courtney Conley

Are you planning a road trip this summer? Sitting in a car for hours on end isn’t the most fun part of a vacation, but if you take the time to plan ahead, you can make the most out of your trip.

Road Trip

1. Determine your route.

Take a look at your route before you hit the road. If you’re using a GPS system or an app on your phone, zoom out to see your entire route. Take freeways and avoid driving through major cities during rush hour traffic. Also, check for any construction on your route on your state’s transportation department website. If you’re traveling to other states, check their transportation department websites as well. Avoid areas under construction whenever possible, and plan for extra travel time if you do need to go through construction.

2. Plan activities to keep kids distracted.

Traveling with little kids? It can be super distracting for the driver to attend to children in the car. Age-appropriate activities can be a huge help! Things like coloring books or other activity books can help keep older kids distracted and happy. Just make sure they are staying buckled up; if they drop something, wait until the car is stopped to pick it up!

Classic games like I Spy, the Alphabet Game, and 20 Questions are great ways to pass the time without relying on a screen. Tablets and headphones are another way to keep kids happy in the car! Avoid toys like balls or Frisbees that kids may accidentally toss into the front seat. That could be very dangerous for the driver!

3. Make sure you don’t run out of gas.

It’s never fun to run out of gas, but it’s especially frustrating when you’re in a new place, or in the middle of nowhere. Keep a close eye on your fuel tank! If you notice you’re down to about 1/4 of your tank left, it’s a good time to fill your tank!

4. Plan to take breaks.

Determine the number of miles you want to drive daily and where to take breaks. If only one person is driving, it is recommended that this person not exceed 6 to 8 hours of driving in any one day. When you share the driving, the total driving time should not be more than 10 or 11 hours. You should take rest stops every two to three hours and plan a one-hour stop for meals.

5. Don’t drive at a time you’re normally sleeping.

It may be tempting to start your drive in the middle of the night, but if your body isn’t used to being awake at that time, you’re more likely to feel drowsy at that time.

Generally, you should avoid driving after dark, as a high percentage of traffic fatalities occur at night. Your visibility is reduced at night, and you’re likely to become fatigued. Also, drivers are more likely to speed since there are less vehicles on the road. Speeding, reduced visibility, and fatigue are a dangerous combination.

If you’re crossing a desert area, plan to do so in the morning hours when it is cooler. You don’t want to break down in the middle of the day with the sun searing overhead.

6. Let others know your travel plans.

It is helpful for someone to know where you are or where you should be in case of an emergency.

7. Get your vehicle serviced before heading out.

It’s often a good idea to have your car serviced before taking a long road trip. Check the following a few days before your trip so you have time to get your car fixed if it needs repairs:

  • Tires: check inflation, condition of the tires, balance and alignment
  • Windshield wiper blades
  • Lights
  • Brakes for wear and/or adjustment
  • Engine compartment for oil, radiator, transmission and windshield wiper fluids
  • Belts and hoses for wear

8. Don’t over pack!

When you are packing your vehicle, do not overload it. Pack the heaviest items in the bottom of your trunk and put lighter objects in a car-top carrier if you have it. Check your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s load capacity. Keep in mind that adding too much weight to your vehicle will impact your steering and your vehicle’s balance.

If you stack suitcases and luggage on the back seat or behind it, make sure they do not obstruct your view. Make sure you have clear visibility through the back windshield and all mirrors at all times.

9. Be prepared for emergencies.

The type of emergency equipment you bring on a trip will depend on the weather. Here’s a general list of things that will be helpful to bring along:

  • An extra set of keys or an extra battery for your key fob
  • Insurance information (keep it in your glove compartment)
  • Your driver’s license
  • Money for expected and unexpected travel expenses, such as tolls
  • Your vehicle owner’s manual
  • A GPS system and maps for backup
  • A car charger for your cell phone
  • Phone numbers of lodging and/or friends and family to connect with (this is helpful if you lose access to your phone)
  • Emergency kit: flashlight, first-aid, screwdriver, pliers, adjustable-end wrench and socket set
  • Jack (for changing tires), spare tire, lug wrench, wheel blocks, and battery jumper cables
  • Tow line, Mylar blanket, radiator coolant (especially in extreme heat), and windshield wiper fluid
  • Water and high-energy food

10. Have a back-up plan.

Things don’t always go the way we want them to on a trip, so it’s important to have a back-up plan. Ask yourself what potential situations you could find yourself in and how you can prepare yourself to handle them before you start out. What would you do, for example, if you lost your keys or got a flat tire? Perhaps you pack an extra key in a safe location and pack a spare tire before setting out. Always have extra cash in the glove compartment for emergencies. It’s also a good idea to pack a map so that if your phone dies or you lose service, you won’t get lost.

We hope this list helps you plan the best summer road trip ever! Want to learn more tips and tricks like these? Taking an online defensive driving course or an insurance discount course is a great way to help prepare you for any type of driving situation! Click here to visit our website to see the online courses we offer in your state!

Are you planning a road trip this summer? Sitting in a car for hours on end isn’t the most fun part of a vacation, but if you take the time to plan ahead, you can make the most out of your trip.

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