California teen drivers drive with restrictions to reduce crashes

Posted By The McClellan Law Firm || Sep 13, 2011

Teens in the United States are up against serious statistics every time they get in a car. Car accidents are the leading cause of teen deaths in the country. Individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 represent around only 14% of the U.S. Population, but account for 30% of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28% of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries for females. Because teen inexperience on the road is a great concern for safety officials, boundaries have been implemented to help curb fatalities.

Graduated Driver’s License Law

One such boundary is the Graduated Driver’s License law. This law requires all new teen drivers go through a three-step process before obtaining a driver’s license.

First GDL Step

In California, this first step a teen must complete is to obtain a learner’s permit and finish 50 hours of supervised driving. A parent or guardian must certify that the correct number of hours was completed.

The following restrictions are also in place:

  • A parent, guardian, or adult aged 25+ must accompany the new driver.
  • A legal companion to the new driver must have a proper California license.
  • New drivers must complete at least a 6 hour training course.
  • New drivers must keep a clean driving record.
  • New drivers may not drink and drive.

Second GDL Step

Upon completion of the first step, drivers are free to move to the next step to obtain a provisional license if they are between 16 and 18 and have passed their driver’s test. A parent or guardian must also provide a signature stating that the new driver has completed all their required practice hours.

For the first 12 months under a provisional license, a driver must comply with these rules:

  • No passengers under 20 may ride with the new driver unless a 25+ licensed driver is present.
  • A 25+ licensed driver must be present if the new driver drives between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

Third GDL Step

After the first two steps are completed, the driver has no restrictions on their license.

Other Teen Driver Safety Measures

Studies have found that other measures ensure a higher safety rate for new drivers.

For example, the following results have been found:

  • New drivers accompanied by an adult driver are less likely to crash.
  • New drivers accompanied by other teens are more likely to crash.
  • Seat belt usage by new drivers greatly reduces fatality risk.
  • A zero-tolerance approach to alcohol is a must for new drivers.

Injured in a Car Accident? Call The McClellan Law Firm.

Whether yourteen driver was injured in a car accident or you were hit by a new driver, the San Diego car accident lawyers at The McClellan Law Firm can help you determine your next steps to compensation. Our team of injury attorneys are passionate about helping individuals recover from dangerous incidents and can help you assess your options. Contact us today to learn more!

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