Teens see driving as a stepping-stone towards freedom. But parents often have concerns about their readiness for the road, and justifiably so. Research shows that teen drivers have a higher rate of deadly crashes compared to adults. According to the CDC, in 2016 alone, 2,433 teens aged 16-19 died in car crashes. And 292,742 teens were treated in ERs for car crash injuries.
The risks of teen drivers
These problematic factors lead to teen-driving wrecks:
- A lack of skills and experience
- Neglecting to wear a seat belt
- Distracted driving (particularly if they have friends with them or are on their mobile phone)
- Reckless driving (speeding, ignoring traffic lights and road signs)
- Impaired driving (drunk driving, or driving under the influence of other drugs, or even driving while tired)
Oklahoma teens can reduce their crash risk by up to 50% by following the Oklahoma Graduated Driver Licensing system (GDL). The Oklahoma GDL laws state that teens must be 16 years old with 6 months of driver’s education courses in order to drive on their own—or 17 years old without driver’s education courses. Young drivers must be at least 15 and a half to begin driver’s education. They must have supervision for a total of 50 hours, and 10 of those hours must be at night. Drivers under 17 may not have more than one passenger (except family) between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
In addition to the Oklahoma GDL laws, teens should always wear a seat belt and abide all traffic signals and road signs. They must also avoid speeding, alcohol and drugs, distractions while driving, and get enough sleep before operating a vehicle.
If you were injured in an accident cause by a teen driver, please contact Lloyd & Lloyd for a free case evaluation. We have over 40 years of experience helping our clients get the justice and compensation they deserve.