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Teen Drivers Not Following GDL, Increasing Accident Risks

Teenage drivers have a lot to worry about on our roadways. They’re not only trying to master the rules of the road, but they’re also worrying about staying in compliance with the state’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing (GDL) program.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), young drivers must hold a learner’s permit for a year before they can drive with an intermediate license. During this time, they’ve got to complete 50 hours of supervised drive time, 10 of which must be at night. Once they complete this phase and they’ve turned 16-years-old, they’re allowed to drive without a licensed driver over the age of 21-years-old, but they’re prohibited from driving between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Once they turn 17-years-old, they’re only prohibited from driving between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. The state of Florida imposes no passenger restrictions on these young drivers although a number of studies have proven that the number of passengers present in the vehicle with the young drivers directly correlates with their increased risks for an accident.

Officials in the state of New Jersey have an even tougher way to help these young drivers. Under a new law, “Kyleigh’s Law,” these drivers are required to place a red sticker on their license plate. Parents and teen drivers aren’t happy about it though, saying that the only thing that’s doing is making them a moving target for predators, according to CBS New York.

Our Stuart car accident attorneys understand that we all need to keep a close eye on our newly-licensed drivers. But pointing them out with a big red sticker might not be the best idea. It’s important for parents to stay involved with their teen’s driving career. Make sure that you know when they’re driving, where they’re going and when they’ll be back. It’s important that everyone is aware of the state’s GDL laws and that everyone is following them, too. Although Florida doesn’t regulate the number of young passengers that your teen can drive with, we still urge you to place your own household maximum. With every young passenger present in your teen’s vehicle, the risks for an accident climb significantly.

Kyleigh’s Law was named after Kyleigh D’Alessio, a 16-year-old driver who was killed in an accident with another teen driver. At the time of the accident, the other teen’s vehicle had far too many young passengers inside to follow the state’s passenger restrictions.

“There were too many teens in the car. He was new GDL driver. He was speeding. That’s a lot of distractions right there,” said the young victim’s mother.

The risks are so high with additional passengers, that some studies even say that there a 50 percent chance of the young driver getting into a crash when there’s just one young passenger in the vehicle.

In New Jersey, you won’t get a moving violation for not having the decal on your license plate, but you do run the risk of getting a $100 fine.

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Freeman & Mallard for a free and confidential consultation. Call 1-800-561-7777.

More Blog Entries:

MADD and West Palm Attorneys Supporting Victims’ Rights, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, August 5, 2012

Teen Drivers and Severe Risks for Drowsy Driving Car Accidents, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, August 3, 2012

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