There is a lurking threat around every corner out there: TEEN DRIVERS! Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 24 represent as much as 30% of the costs of motor vehicle injuries. In addition, on a per mile basis, drivers between 16 and 19 are three times as likely than older drivers to be in a crash resulting in death.
- Teens travel in packs! The more kids in the car the more likely it is there will be a wreck;
- They fail to recognize dangerous situations;
- Teenagers speed! Especially the boys. In 2012, 37% of fatal wrecks involving male teenagers involved excessive speed;
- Teenagers won’t use their seatbelts;
- Believe it or not, teenagers drink! In 2012, 23% of teenage drivers killed in wrecks were drinking;
- Teenagers do not have enough experience behind the wheel to be safe drivers; and
- Teens text! Despite a vigorous public awareness campaign, Teens Still Text While Driving!
Graduated Driver License rules are intended to minimize the risk of teenage drivers on the road by limiting their privileges. This typically involves the initial granting of a learner’s permit before obtaining a full drivers license. In Virginia, a teenager must be 15 years and 6 months of age to obtain a learner’s permit and MAY NOT DRIVE AT NIGHT in this phase of licensing. (Va. Code § 46.2-335). At age 16 years and 3 months, the teen is eligible for a driver’s license subject to the following:
- The learner’s permit has been held at least 9 months;
- The teen has completed a state approved driver education program;
- The teen’s parent or guardian certifies that he or she has accomplished 45 hours of driver practice, 15 of which occurred at night.
In spite of the above well intentioned requirements, we know that not all teens and their parents are going to follow the rules! You never know who is behind the wheel of cars on the highway. It may be one of these inexperienced teenager drivers, and, worse yet, they may not have had proper instruction or may even be drinking.
If you are the victim of a car wreck caused by a teenager driver, ASK ABOUT IT! Call Sandler Law Group – toll free 800-9-THE-LAW or (757) 627-8900 to schedule an initial FREE consultation. You may also contact us online at www.sandlerlaw.net or email at GSandler@Sandlerlaw.net.