Teenagers in Vista, Del Mar, Hillcrest, San Diego and surrounding areas often make unsafe choices while operating vehicles. There are many reasons for the higher risks associated with younger drivers. One issue is that teenagers do not always have the maturity to avoid high-risk behaviors like drinking or using drugs and then operating their vehicles. Teens are also more likely to be distracted behind the wheel, both by their cell phones and by peers in the car with them. Even teens who try to be responsible do not always have the knowledge and driving experience to drive assertively, make safe choice in every road situation, and respond in smart ways that reduce accident risks.
An experienced personal injury lawyer knows this is a major reason why so many young people are involved in auto accidents. Teen drivers have a higher accident rate than any other age group on the roads. Fortunately, there is an effective way to reduce this accident rate and make the roads safer for everyone: graduated licensing.
GRADUATED LICENSING HAS A BIG IMPACT ON TEEN MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
Graduated licensing programs slowly introduce teenagers to the responsibilities associated with driving a vehicle. Teens go through different stages before they get a full license. They get a permit to drive with supervision, then an intermediate license with restrictions, and finally when they are older and have shown responsibility behind the wheel, they get a full license.
According to Nerd Wallet, the first graduated licensing program was put in place in 1996 in Florida, but now every state has its own graduated licensing program. In states that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has rated as having the best and toughest graduated licensing schemes, there has been a 20 percent reduction in insurance claims for accidents involving teenage drivers. In states that IIHS has rated as having moderate or fair systems, there has been a 15 percent decline in the number of auto accident claims made by young people. Finally, in states that IIHS indicates have a marginal or relatively ineffective system, there has still been a 10 precent reduction in accident claims made by teenage drivers.
When it comes to fatal crashes, graduated licensing laws have made a substantial difference in reducing the rate of teenagers involved in deadly accidents. Graduated licensing programs are credited with causing a 10 to 30 percent reduction in the number of fatal collisions involving teen drivers. Overall, from 2004 to 2014, there has been a 55 percent decline in the number of deadly crashes with teen drivers. In 2004, a total of 5,724 fatal collisions involved drivers from the ages of 16 to 19. By 2013, there were 2,568 fatal collisions with teen drivers behind the wheel.
These graduated licensing programs have helped to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce auto insurance premiums for teenage drivers. It is imperative that parents and teens follow the rules for restrictions on what teen drivers can do in order to ensure that the roads are safer for everyone.
Contact a Vista, CA personal injury attorney after your motor vehicle accident. Call the Law Offices of Ronald B. Laba today at 866-434-1577 or visit www.injurylawofsandiego.com. Also serving Del Mar, Hillcrest, San Diego, and surrounding areas.