Getting a driver’s license is an exciting time for many teens, but it is also a time of concern for many parents given that teen drivers are at a higher risk for auto accidents. At Ankin Law Office, LLC, our Chicago auto accident lawyers are committed to keeping motorists and their passengers stay safe while on Illinois roadways, and protecting the rights of those injured in Illinois auto accidents. The following explains some of the auto accident risks for teen drivers and ways to minimize them:
- Other teen passengers. Research shows that additional teen passengers increases the risk of a serious auto accident. In fact, according to the AAA Foundation, a teen driving with just one teen passenger is 44% more likely to be in a fatal auto accident, and the risk increases even more when there are two or three teen passengers in the car. Accordingly, parents should limit the number of passengers that a teen driver is permitted to have in the car while he or she is driving. In fact, pursuant to Illinois law, for the first 12 months of licensing or until the driver turns 18 (whichever occurs first), a teen driver can only have one passenger under age 20, unless the passenger(s) is a sibling, stepsibling, child or stepchild of the driver.
- Lack of driving experience. Teen drivers often have inadequate driving experience, even though they may have passed the driver’s license test and obtained a driver’s license. Parents should encourage their teen to get as much as driving experience as possible with a responsible adult in the vehicle. In fact, Illinois law requires parents to certify that the teen driver has completed a minimum of 50 hours of practice driving, including 10 hours at night, in order to obtain a driver’s license.
- Speeding. Speeding is the third leading cause of fatal auto accidents, taking close to 10,000 lives each year. The percentage of young drivers in speeding-related crashes is greater than in any other age group. In fact, more than one in ten drivers (11 percent) age 16 to 20 reported at least one speeding-related crash in the past five years, compared to 4 percent for the population as a whole. Parents should encourage their children to always drive within the speed limit.
- Driving at night. Research shows that teens driving at night have a higher incidence of auto accidents than during the daylight hours. Accordingly, parents may want to limit use of the car to daytime hours for a period of time. Illinois law prohibits driving at night during the initial phase of a driver’s license (age 16-17) between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, and between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Contact an Illinois Auto Accident Lawyer
The Chicago auto accident lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC are committed helping the victims of auto accidents, including teen drivers, injured passengers, and those injured by teen drivers. If you were injured in a car accident, contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago auto accident lawyers.