Common Dangers to Teen Drivers
Getting a driver’s license is a major life milestone most teenagers can’t wait to reach. Conversely, making sure that young drivers are prepared to slide behind the wheel and take off is something that most parents and/or guardians face with some trepidation. The best way to prepare teens, and the adults in their lives, for this big step is to go over a few of the most common dangers to teen drivers.
And since May is youth traffic safety month, our personal injury team thought it would be a good time to also cover a few basic traffic laws for Louisiana to help keep your teen driver safe.
What Age Can Teens Get a Louisiana Driver’s License?
Louisiana law mandates that teen drivers must meet the following age and training requirements before getting a permanent driver’s license:
- 15+ years of age: can apply for a learner’s permit
- 16+ years of age: must have taken part in a Louisiana Graduated Licensing program and hold a learner’s permit before applying for an intermediate license
- 17+ years of age: have completed a driver education or pre-licensing course, as well as passed both knowledge and road skills tests prior to earning a permanent license
Key takeaways: There are two different levels of licensure– intermediate and permanent. An intermittent license allows a 16-year-old teen to drive unsupervised with restrictions. Whereas a permanent license allows a teen 17+ years of age to obtain a full adult license.
Common Dangers to Teen Drivers
As mentioned above, once a Louisiana teen earns an intermediate license they have the freedom to drive without supervision. However, because of their lack of experience there are two stipulations they must follow:
- They are not permitted to drive between 11: 00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed adult at least 21 years old.
- They must not transport more than one passenger under age 21 between 6:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed adult at least 21 years old.
These time constraints will help reduce the chance of a teen driver being involved in a car accident from dusk to dawn. According to data collected by Louisiana State University, 5,737 injury crashes and 102 fatal accidents have occurred between 6:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., as of May 11, 2022.
Furthermore, the National Safety Council shares that fatigue, compromised night vision, rush hour, and impaired drivers are some of the risks drivers face at night. These dangers peak on Saturday nights.
Aside from nighttime driving dangers, here are more common dangers to teen drivers in Louisiana:
- Distracted driving. Talking and texting on a mobile device while driving is a big distraction for young drivers. Add loud music and a few excited and chatty teen passengers into the mix and a young driver may lose focus of the road and their surroundings, which could result in a crash. Emotional distress can have a similar distracting effect.
- Not using seat belts. Seat belts do save lives. However, teen drivers and passengers are the highest age group at risk of suffering a catastrophic injury from a car crash by choosing not to “click it.”
- Driver inexperience. Teens are less likely to notice potentially dangerous traffic situations and blind spots. Teens may also overestimate their abilities to drive defensively when weather’s conditions suddenly turn poor or a tire blows out.
- Speeding and tailgating. Teens that drive over the posted speed limit and follow too close to the vehicle in front of them set themselves up for failure. Teens that speed and change lanes recklessly also increase their risk of colliding with another vehicle or motorcycle.
- Impaired driving. Teen drivers have been bombarded with “don’t drink and drive” and “don’t drive while high” messages their whole lives. Unfortunately, there are at least a few in each group that choose to get behind the wheel of a 10,000 lb. piece of machinery and try to operate it while impaired.
Key takeaways: Statistically, teen drivers are less experienced and take higher risks when first learning to drive. The best way to help reduce their chances of being seriously hurt in an accident is for parents and other guardians to set boundaries and talk with their teen driver(s) about these common dangers and how to avoid them. Doing so could save their lives.
Contact Our Teen Accident Lawyers 24/7
We can help prepare our teens to drive out on their own by going over these common dangers. Unfortunately, we can’t prevent them from getting hurt in a car accident by other less courteous and reckless drivers. If a young driver in your household is injured in a car accident, you need to: Go Big! Get Mike!
Mike Brander is the father of teenagers and can empathize with other parents when their child is involved in a car accident. That is why he and his team are prepared to take legal action that is in the best interests of you and your child.
Contact Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys 24/7 by phone, via our online chat, or by filling out a short online form. We’ll provide you with quality legal advice during a free consultation. You also risk nothing by contacting our law office today as there is no fee unless we win your case.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.