Keeping Teen Drivers SafeJune 29, 2018
Receiving a driver’s license is a major milestone in any teenager’s life. It opens a new world of freedom and independence, but it is also a big responsibility. Statistics show that car accidents are the number one cause of fatality in teens aged 16 to 19, yet too many teens continue to engage in unsafe driving behavior like texting, talking on the phone, and distractions from other teen passengers in the car. Fortunately, many of these accidents are preventable if teen drivers make safety a priority. One poor decision, or moment of distraction can have tragic consequences.
One important step parents can take with their newly licensed driver is to create a contract that outlines specific rules regarding driving privileges. As the teen driver demonstrates responsible driving habits, the contract can be modified to increase the privileges. Parents should also set a good example by putting their phone down, driving within the speed limit, and obeying the rules of the road.
Graduated Driver’s License System
The graduated driver’s license (GDL) helps inexperienced teen drivers by providing longer practice periods and preventing teens from driving in high risk conditions. It also encourages parent participation throughout the process. Maryland requires all applicants to progress through the following three levels of licensing:
- Learner’s Permit
– Applicant must be a minimum of 15 years and 9 months old
– If applicant is under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must co-sign the application
– Proof of age and identity, if required
– Applicants must pass a knowledge and vision test before obtaining a permit
– Before receiving behind-the-wheel driver training, the applicant must first obtain a learner’s permit
- Provisional License:
– Minimum age requirement is 16 years and 6 months
– Applicant must obtain a learner’s permit with no convictions or probations
– Classroom and behind-the-wheel components must be successfully completed
– Applicant must obtain a signed certificate stating that you completed all the required practice driving sessions
- Full Driver’s License:
– Applicant must be at least 18 years old
– Must have a provisional license for at least 18 months
– Applicant’s record must be alcohol free if under 21
– If applicant meets these requirements, the Motor Vehicle Administration will convert the status from provisional to full driver’s license
Safe Driving Tips for Teens
- Always wear a seat belt
- Obey the rules of the road, including driving within the speed limit
- Never drink and drive
- Do not talk on the phone or text while driving
- Set the climate controls and GPS before you begin your trip so that you are not distracted
- Make sure you have an accurate address for your destination and have directions available before you leave
- Use caution when driving near trucks as they have large blind spots
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of All Types of Car Accidents
If you have been injured in a car accident involving an inexperienced teen driver, contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. Our skilled and compassionate team will investigate the details of the accident and ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent injured victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.