Traffic Safety Episode 1: 3 Driving Laws That Your Teen Should Know
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At 16 years old I was driving down the street with three friends belting out a song that was blaring on Q101. The song was “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” by the Crash Test Dummies and it was 1994.
Looking back now there was no way I should have been driving. I was too immature to take on that responsibility. Luckily, I was a safe enough driver to never have been in an accident. But the number one reason I think I wasn’t involved in a traffic accident is because in 1994 our mode of contacting our friends was through a pager from Smart Beep (That is a blast from the past right?).
Today, teen drivers take on the added distraction of having a cell phone. Teen driving laws have changed to help prevent traffic collisions and deaths.
I went live on Facebook today to discuss the 3 important driving laws that affect teen drivers. If you missed the live you can watch it here:
Driving Laws About Your Phone
The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving. 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
Nine percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the crashes.
Currently, 46 states, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers. All but 5 (FL, IA, NE, OH & SD) have primary enforcement.
Fourteen states, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving. All are primary enforcement laws – an officer may cite a driver for using a hand-held cell phone without any other traffic offense taking place.
No state bans all cell phone use for all drivers, but 38 states and DC ban all cell phone use by novice drivers, and 20 states and DC prohibit it for school bus drivers.
Teen Driving Laws & Curfew
You should become familiar with the curfew law in your state and local town or village. If your child is under 17 they can not drive after their curfew. So if your child is out after that time and is pulled over they will or can be arrested for driving without a license as well as a curfew violation.
There are exceptions to this being and emergency, work or school activity.
Teen Driving Laws & Passengers Your Teen’s Car
In Illinois, a driver is 18 years of age and under is only required to have one passenger in their car while driving. That means if your child is pulled over for a violation they will or can get another ticket for this violation.
Exceptions to this are teens under 18 who are driving with family members.
National Safety Council does have a new driver agreement that both the parent and teen can sign. Agreement on what they can do along with the consequences of breaking the rules are great to go over
Finally, Be sure to subscribe to receive updates on the rest of the traffic safety series articles that will be released this week.