Car accidents are the leading cause of wrongful deaths among people between the ages of 16-20, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Approximately 3,500 teens die every year in car crashes (according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).
Of those car accidents, rollover car accidents account for 25 percent of all fatal teen related car crashes. A major contributing factor to the high fatality rate among teens drivers in auto accidents is the low rate of seatbelt usage among teens, especially between the ages of 16-18, (according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration).
Our car accident lawyers are familiar with the legal history that was created in response to the overwhelming evidence of the risks posed to teen drivers, there has been a recent emergence of parents taking a stand against what are considered to be too lenient laws for driver’s licenses and imposing a graduated driver license on their teenagers.
The Graduated Drivers License is an agreement between parents and their teens regarding certain driving restrictions on teens that will help to ensure that their teens will take the necessary precautions when behind the wheel to prevent a car accident.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a recent study and found that the four main factors that put teen drivers at risk for being involved in an auto accident are; driving at night, transporting passengers (especially other teens), getting a learner’s permit before age 16, and getting a drivers’ license before age 18.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety and car accident lawyers propose four things that parents can do to help lower the risk of their teens being involved in an auto accident:
1. Set the minimum age limit for a learner’s permit at 16 years. Most states currently allow teens to obtain a learner’s permit at 15 and ½ , however, studies conducted by the Department of Health indicate that teens, especially those under 16-18 years of age do not have the ability to fully assess risk.
2. While the state requires that a teen possess a learner’s permit for at least 6 months before being able to apply for a drivers’ license, parents are being asked to enforce a learning period of at least a year and up to 2 years to ensure that teens or getting enough supervised practice behind the wheel, before being able to obtain a drivers’ license.
3. Practice driving with your teen frequently. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety recommends that teens practice driving with parental supervision approximately 15-30 hours per month, or ½ hour to an hour each day.
4. Once your teen has obtained a driver’s license, be sure to maintain an intermediate driving stage lasting at least until age 18, which includes a night driving restriction (i.e. no driving after 8 P.M.), and a strict no teen passenger restriction. Studies have shown that restricting a teen from driving at night and not permitting passengers under the age of 25 can reduce the likelihood of a car accident by up to 25 percent.
Our firm’s auto accident attorneys also want to remind all parents that no matter how good of a driver your teen becomes, it never hurts to get the best auto insurance policy for them in case an accident happens out of the blue.
Call us now at 1-800-655-6585 or click here for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney and find out how we can help you. We speak English and Spanish, and we look forward to providing advice for your case. No fee if no recovery.