Teen drivers are almost three times as likely to get in a collision as compare to adult driver. Driving is a skill that requires practice, which means that youthful drivers are at a disadvantage on the road. Recent statistics from the Idaho Transportation Department reveal that youthful drivers (drivers age 15-19) were involved in 4,825 vehicle crashes during the 2013 calendar year.
The need for practice has led to a change in licensing rules. The statistics show accidents involving young drivers are down 3.7% since 2009. The graduated licensing program has tighter restrictions on teen driving, but parents must be aware that even responsible and safety-conscious teens may make mistakes as they gain experience on the road.
Idaho’s graduated license law provides an underage driver requires fifty hours of behind-the-wheel practice, including ten hours of nighttime driving. However, please keep in mind that this is only the legal minimum. All additional supervised driving practice your teen receives will be beneficial in helping to develop his or her driving skills. Ideally, parents should make sure a teen has experience driving in both urban and rural areas, as well as in different weather conditions.
Creating a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement
As the parent of a teen, you can help your child stay safe on the road by creating a parent-teen driving agreement. The idea is a written agreement between you and your teen reinforces the fact that driving is privilege that comes with great responsibility. The Center for Disease Control has a sample parent-teen driving agreement that you can use. Just download, sign, and post in a readily visible area to remind your teen of important driver safety rules like always wearing a seat belt, never texting while driving, and never driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The agreement also suggests restrictions specific to the teen’s personal circumstances and level of driving ability, such as not driving after a certain hour, not driving in bad weather, or not transporting more than a certain number of passengers.
Parental Liability for Teen Accidents
The ITD reports that teen drivers caused $416 million in economic damages in 2013. Parents are not automatically held liable for a teen’s motor vehicle accident. However, Idaho allows for the owner of a vehicle to be held legally responsible for damages caused by a driver who had permission to use the vehicle. This means that you may be forced to provide reimbursement if your teen driver causes an accident with property damage or injury to others while driving the family car.
Holzer Edwards Can Help
The attorneys at Holzer Edwards are dedicated to representing Idaho residents who wish to seek monetary compensation for injuries or property damage caused by negligent drivers. Please call (208) 386-9119 or toll-free at (888) 490-0992 for a free consultation.