I am always fascinated to see how driving laws differ from state to state. For example, the age at which a person can get a driver’s license varies from state to state. This is something I feel should personally be standardized across the country. I also feel rules for new drivers should be standardized as well. Here in New Jersey new drivers are only allowed to have a certain amount of people in the vehicle when they are first licensed. This makes a great deal of sense to me, and is the type of thing I feel would make sense to standardize nationwide. For now though, each state does have their own rules. Below is an article from Paula that outlines some of the reasons teen drivers need more than drivers ed.
Teen Drivers Need More Than Driver’s Ed
It’s no secret that teen drivers have the highest accident percentages on the road. Per a study by Safe Roads Alliance, Inc., 43 percent of new drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 have some type of an auto accident in their first year and 37 percent in their second year. While driver’s ed definitely teaches the basic skills needed to operate a motor vehicle, there are some additional things parents can do to improve their child’s awareness and driving skills when behind the wheel.
It’s common sense that new drivers don’t have the same experience as an adult who has been driving for 20-30 years. Because of this, new drivers are a higher risk for insurance companies. Their judgment of the distance between vehicles and stopping time is often less than perfect and they are easily distracted. Parents can help their children avoid unnecessary accidents by enforcing strict behind-the-wheel rules. For one, the cell phone should never be in use. If the phone rings or they receive a text message, instruct them to leave the phone where it is until they reach their destination. Secondly, explain the safety and importance of keeping music at a reasonable level. In addition, limit the use of the vehicle to only your child. Teens are not capable of conducting a conversation with friends and focusing on the road at the same time.
It is also important to educate teenagers about what to do in the event of an accident. Since the odds are stacked against them, parents should instruct them to stay inside the vehicle and call 911. After getting checked out at the hospital if their injuries are serious, parents should contact a law firm like ColoradoLaw.net to review the case, especially if there are any personal injury lawsuits pending.
Having use of a vehicle isn’t just about driving. A new driver should know about preventative maintenance. This includes things such as how to check the oil and change a tire. If a teen breaks down on the road due to a flat, you want to make sure that they are capable of changing it. Or, if you have a roadside assistance service in place, they should have access to the number.
Nationwide statistics reveal an alarming number of deaths associated with young drivers between the ages of 15-19. These figures appear in articles written by the Center for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov/MotorVehicleSafety/Teen_Drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html) and http://www.rmiia.org/auto/teens/Teen_Driving_Statistics.asp, According to public records there were 2,823 deaths in 2012 and 2,163 deaths in 2013. Today there are stricter laws in place to give teens more practice behind the wheel. The Graduated Licensing programs aim at three critical areas. The first part requires permit holders under the age of 21 to have 50 or more hours of supervised driving hours with an adult. Once they acquire their license they are limited to a 9 p.m. curfew until after their first full year of driving.
For a teen, getting their license is an exciting time. It opens the door to freedom. With a few enforced guidelines created by mom and dad and improved laws that require new drivers to have more supervised hours behind the wheel, they will learn to make smart decisions and drive responsibly.