Graduated driver’s licenses are now the standard throughout the United States, including in Beloit. The first graduated licensing program in the United States was implemented in 1996 in the state of Florida. Because the program was successful at helping keep teenagers safer, every state and D.C. have now adopted graduated licensing programs although the rules are not standard throughout the U.S.
Teens are the age group with the least driving experience and are the demographic group most likely to take unnecessary risks behind the wheel, especially with friends in the car. Young people could hurt or kill themselves, their passengers and other motorists on the road. When an accident happens with a teen driver, a Beloit car accident lawyer can provide assistance to victims who wish to pursue legal action to try to recover compensation for their crash losses.
It is important that a determination be made whether the teen was following graduated licensing laws or other safety rules when the crash happened because breaking safety rules can help to prove negligence. Your attorney can help you demonstrate that the teen who caused your crash was unreasonably careless and should be held liable for accident losses.
Keeping Teens Safe from Collisions Through Graduated Licensing
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), graduated licensing programs have had a substantially positive impact on reducing the number of motor vehicle collisions caused by teenage drivers. The Highway Loss Data Institute found that graduated licensing programs have resulted in a 20 percent drop in collisions among 16-year-olds in states where the graduated licensing program has been declared to be a good program by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Even in states with graduated licensing programs that the IIHS rated as either marginal or fair, the programs still reduced the risk of collisions by 10 and 15 percent, respectively.
Graduated licensing programs introduce teenagers to the responsibility of driving slowly, rather than all at once. A teenager who first gets the right to drive is given a permit and can only drive with a licensed driver. The teen then moves into an intermediate licensing stage where it is possible to drive without supervision but there are restrictions, like limits on passengers or limits on night driving. Only after these first two phases does the teen get a full license and have the right to drive on an unlimited basis just like any other adult driver.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has data showing the positive impact made by these graduated licensing programs. Between 2004 to 2013, the overall number of fatal crashes involving teen drivers fell 55 percent and estimates suggest that graduated licensing alone was responsible for between 10 and 30 percent of the average reduction in teen crashes.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety believes that if even tougher restrictions on teen licensing were adopted into existing graduated licensing programs nationwide, the crash rate would decline even more.
Although graduated licensing programs have made a big difference, crashes still do happen. If you or someone you love was hurt by a teen driver, you need to understand your rights. Contact a car accident lawyer in Beloit for help pursuing a damage claim against a negligent teen driver.