What kind of rules and regulations should new and teenage drivers face in Arizona? Should they be the same as older, more experienced motorists or should the requirements vary? These are important questions that have an impact not only on teen motorists but also on their families, friends, and anyone who happens to drive near them on a roadway – put simply, everyone in Phoenix is affected by teen driver limitations.
Like most states in the nation, Arizona recognizes that teens pose a unique risk to the safety of all and therefore their ability to obtain a driver’s license is regulated to a greater degree. To make this happen, the state has instituted a graduated driver’s license program and it applies to teens who are at least 16 years old but younger than 18. To be eligible for a graduated driver’s license, a teen must have held a permit for a minimum of six months prior to the licensing and must have completed a driver’s education program that was approved by the State of Arizona. Further, a parent or guardian of the teen must certify that the teen has completed at least 30 hours of supervised driving and that at least 10 of those hours happened at night.
On its face, this approach to licensing teens may seem strict but when compared to other states, it is clear that Arizona is more lax in its licensing of new drivers and experts believe that safety may be threatened as a result.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (“IIHS”) has tracked the use of graduated driver’s license programs across the country which include three stages to full licensing: a supervised learner’s period, an intermediate licensing period that comes with driving restrictions, and then a license with full privileges. In particular, IIHS reviews the age in which a teen can obtain a permit, the number of hours a teen must practice driving, the age at which a teen can obtain a license, restrictions on nighttime driving, and restrictions on driving with teenage passengers.
The laws regarding these five key areas vary from state to state, so IIHS reviewed the strictest law in each category and then ran a simulation assuming that all states implemented the strictest versions. The results were shocking.
In Arizona, IIHS calculates that the implementation of the strictest laws related to the five major issues with a graduated driver’s license could reduce the number of fatal teen car accidents by 41 percent. Across the nation, the numbers would range from a reduction of 17 percent to a reduction of 63 percent, evidence that each and every state could see improvements to their safety and the reduction in the loss of life if they took a strict stance related to teenage licensing.
For the time being, it is important to understand why teens are involved in so many crashes and what can be done to lessen those incidents. If you have a teenage driver, the most important thing you can do is to provide your teen with a proper driving education. Make sure they realize how important it is to act in a safe manner behind the wheel and how big of a responsibility it is to operate a car. Further, do not simply aim to provide your teen with the minimum number of driving hours required but instead give your teen as many practice opportunities as possible and in as many different conditions as you can. Have your teen drive in familiar areas, unfamiliar areas, daylight, nighttime, on interstates, on residential roads, and anything in between. The more time your teen logs in the driver’s seat, the greater her knowledge will be and the more likely she will remain free of an accident.
If a car accident involving a teenager happens and you are injured or your teen is hurt, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages and for the losses you sustained. From medical expenses to pain and suffering, your damages may be moderate or extreme depending on the unique facts of your crash.
The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. offer a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation to injury victims who call us toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5101 and we have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If we can assist you, please call us now.
Prior Blog Entry:
Phoenix Construction Boom Could Cause Headaches for Drivers, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published February 19, 2016.
AN EASY WIN, Strong GDL laws maximize benefits, IIHS, Status Report, Volume 50, Number 3, published March 31, 2015.