The number one cause of death for teens is automobile accidents. During 2013, approximately six teens between the ages of 16 and 19 died every day in motor vehicle accidents throughout the United States. That same year, 2,163 teens died in car accidents that injured another 243,243 teens.
The federal government, non-profit organizations, corporations, and state governments have designed campaigns to educate teen drivers and their parents regarding the dangers. Education is one of our best defenses to teen driving accidents. Some of the educational campaigns parents of teen drivers may want to research include:
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Pennsylvania Teen Safe Driving Resource Guide
- Safe Driving Incorporated
- State Farm
- Allstate Foundation
Pennsylvania takes teen driving very seriously from the moment a teen applies for a learner's permit through the teen driver getting his or her full driver's license. Our system is designed to ensure the teen driver is ready to operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner. We want teens to have all of the skills, knowledge, and experience they need to protect themselves and others on the road.
Getting Your Learner's Permit in Pennsylvania
Teens can apply for their junior learner's permit when they turn 16 years old. In order to obtain a Pennsylvania junior learner's permit you must complete the following steps (all forms are available online or at your local Driver License Center):
- Have your doctor complete the Physician's Report of Examination section on your application
- Have your parent or guardian complete and sign a consent form
- Pass a vision screening test
- Pass a written knowledge test based on the information found in the Pennsylvania Driver's Manual
- Submit the completed Non-Commercial Learner's Permit Application (Form DL-180) and Parent or Guardian Consent Form (DL-180TD) with proof of your date of birth, your social security card, and a check or money order for the fee
Your learner's permit is valid for one year from the date it is issued. During that time, you must accumulate at minimum of 65 hours of behind-the wheel driving experience with at least ten hours of nighttime driving and five hours of driving during inclement weather. You can find more information about obtaining a junior learner's permit here.
Restricting Teen Drivers in Pennsylvania
As part of teaching good driving habits and protecting teen drivers and others while teens are learning to drive, Pennsylvania places restrictions on teen drivers. Some of the restrictions on teen drivers include:
- Teens cannot drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. without a parent, guardian, or spouse who is at least 21 years of age or 18 years of age if a spouse who is a licensed driver. (There are a few limited exceptions to this rule.)
- Only one passenger under the age of 18 who is not immediate family is permitted at a time unless your parent or guardian is in the vehicle for the first six months. After six months, the limit on passengers increases to three non-family members provided the teen driver has not been involved in a motor vehicle accident that was the teen driver's fault.
- If the teen driver is in an accident or commits certain traffic violations, his or her license may be suspended until the age of 18.
These restrictions and other restrictions on teen drivers reduce the risk of a teen driving accident. They also promote good driving habits. Before driving, teens and parents should read all restrictions on teen drivers to understand the responsibilities and limitations for teen drivers.
Has Your Teen Driver Been Injured in an Automobile Accident?
Not all teen drivers injured in a car accident are at fault for the accident. However, insurance companies like to blame teen drivers because teen drivers have a reputation for driving recklessly.
If your teen driver was injured in an accident, contact an experienced Harrisburg car accident attorney immediately. Your teen driver may be entitled to receive compensation from the other driver.