Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18. In 2017, 2,247 people were killed in crashes that involved a teen driver. Of that number, 755 teen drivers died as a result of vehicle crashes. The NHTSA encourages parents to take a role in talking with their teens about safe driving.
Texas Graduated Driver’s License
The Graduated License Program (GDL) was implemented in Texas in 2002. The GDL program includes two main phases that allow teen drivers to gain more experience before they receive a fully unrestricted license. Phase One is the learner’s license. The teen may drive only when accompanied by an adult driver age 21 or older. The teen must hold the permit for at least six months and be over the age of 16 and completed the classroom and laboratory driver education program in order to progress to Phase Two.
Phase Two is called a provisional license. The license allows teens under the age of 18 to drive between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and midnight, except for emergencies and to get to and from work or school. Also, the provisional driver may not drive with passengers under the age of 21 unless they are family members. A provision remains on the license until the age of 18. At that time, the driver may apply for an unrestricted license.
Common Causes of Teen Accidents
The most common causes of teen driver accidents include drinking and driving, distracted driving, driving while drowsy, and speeding. Teens are less likely to wear seatbelts while behind the wheel, which contributes to a higher fatality rate. Distracted driving may include many factors. Distracted driving is anything that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel or your mind off driving. Texting while driving is likely the most common teen distraction and the most dangerous because it includes all three types.
Teens have less driving experience and therefore may not know how to react when faced with a situation on the road. Having the radio on loudly or having passengers in the car can make concentrating on driving more difficult. Teens need to learn to follow the rules of the road and drive in a defensive manner. The more practice a teen has behind the wheel while learning, the better the driver he or she is likely to become. Parents should spend time with their teens as they become more confident drivers.
If you were hurt in an accident with a teen driver, you may be owed money for your injuries. Contact our legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm for a free initial case consultation.