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Nevada DMV offers new program, app to help parents of teen drivers

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles is partnering with State Farm Insurance to help parents supervise their teen drivers and prepare them for a lifetime of safe driving.

The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program has been “a huge success” where it already has been implemented in 20 other states, according to DMV spokesman Kevin Malone. On Monday, Nevada became the 21st state to use the program.

A 2012 study by State Farm and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that teen drivers whose parents are heavily involved in teaching them to drive are half as likely to get in a crash and 71 percent less likely to drive while intoxicated.

“Getting a driver’s license is a special moment in a teen’s life, but it often causes increased anxiety for parents,” said Ed Gold, State Farm advertising director. “Research tells us the single most important thing parents can do to help their teens stay safe on the road is to provide as much supervised practice behind the wheel as possible. We hope this new resource will help parents and teens make the most of this time together.”

The program was developed by Safe Roads Alliance, a nonprofit group dedicated to promoting safe driving. It consists of a 52-page instructional booklet for parents and an app, RoadReady, that logs the driving time that most states require teens to complete before receiving a drivers license.

The RoadReady mobile app is a timer that tracks supervised drives and then compiles them into a driving log that is submitted to the DMV before a teen driver takes the final driving test to obtain a drivers license.

“I think it will help a little,” said 17-year-old Jahnae Richardson. She passed the written test to get her learners permit Friday afternoon.

Richardson was more excited about getting the actual permit to drive, but her mother, Stacy Banks, was interested in the RoadReady app.

“That great,” she said. “Saves time and saves me the trouble. That’s real easy and convenient.”

Nevada requires teens such as Richardson to log at least 50 hours of supervised driving time with their parents to gain experience driving in a variety of weather conditions and unfamiliar settings, as well as at different times of day. The instructional booklet gives parents tips for teaching teens to park, back up, and drive through freeways and roundabouts.

It’s organized like a step-by-step guide, with a chapter and short lesson for each driving skill.

The booklet is given to every 16- and 17-year-old Nevadan who passes the written test to obtain an instruction permit and is available for free online, but the RoadReady app is only available for iPhone.

Other apps are available for Windows Phone and Android OS that track drives, but the Nevada DMV only accepts logs created with RoadReady or compiled on the department’s official driving log form, which is included in the booklet.

According to the Nevada DMV, more than 11,000 teens applied for a learners permit last year.

“I feel pretty cool,” Richardson said. “(My parents) will let me drive now.”

Contact Art Marroquin at amarroquin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Follow @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter. Contact Max Michor at mmichor@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @MaxMichor on Twitter.

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