Every state in the U.S. has its own driving laws for teenagers. Since teen drivers lack the driving experience of most adults, states often restrict when they can drive and how many passengers they can carry. For example, teen drivers in Arizona cannot drive between the hours of midnight and 5 am because many accidents occur later at night, particularly on the weekends. Since every state has unique driving laws for teenagers, here are some “rules of the road” you should consider establishing.
Texting/Talking on the Phone
Teens are at the highest risk of being involved in a fatal car accident. Two of the biggest culprits are texting and talking on the phone. Before you hand over your keys, you should ban your teen from texting or talking on the phone while driving. Encourage them to pull over if they want to use their phone. Hold your teen’s friends accountable and ask if they will hold onto your teen’s phone as the passenger. It can also be a good idea to inquire if the kids your teen hangs out with have the same standards and rules about texting and driving.
Distracted driving kills, and teens are some of the worst offenders. If you live in a state that bans texting and driving, remind your teen they will need a traffic ticket lawyer if they break this law.
Driving at Night
Some states require teens to have a minimum of 10 hours experience driving at night before they will issue a permanent driver’s license. Driving at night is dangerous for all drivers, but teens are especially prone to cause an accident when the sun goes down. It may be a good idea to ban driving at night until your teen gains more experience.
It’s been found that it’s more likely for teenage drivers to drive faster and allow for less time to stop than more experienced drivers. Over a third of all crashes with male teenage drivers are caused by speeding. While speeding crashes may not always lead to injuries, they can cause costly vehicle damages when cars are rear ended.
This law is non-negotiable in most states. You must wear a seat belt at all times when driving. Studies suggest teens commit this violation more than any other age group. Not wearing a seat belt at a minimum is the cost of a traffic ticket if your teen gets pulled over. At its worst, it could cost teen drivers their lives.
Driving Under the Influence
Getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs costs more drivers their lives than any other infraction. A DUI ticket on its own costs thousands of dollars in fines, suspension or revocation of driving privileges and mandatory jail time in most states. You must encourage your teen to call for a ride, regardless of the circumstances.
Establishing your own “rules of the road” outside of traditional traffic laws will help while your young driver gains more experience. Sit alongside your teen while he or she drives and determine your own comfort level before you hand your child your keys.