For many teens, getting a driver’s license is one step towards establishing their independence and entering adulthood. A new state law will make teens wait a bit longer before cruising off onto the road in New York. With the new law, teens with a learner’s permit will have a six month waiting period before taking their road test. Teens will also be required to log in 50 hours (which was previously only 20 hours) of driving practice in a driver’s education program or with a driving instructor, parent or guardian who can certify that they have supervised those hours; 15 of those hours will also need to come after dark.
Accidents relating to texting and other distractions have been the cause of many auto accidents. To curtail this problem, the state of New York now requires that teens can only have one non-family member under the age of 21 in the car while they are driving, unless they are supervised by an adult. The new law aims to make driving safer for teens as statistics show that auto accidents are the leading cause of injury and death among teenagers.
The following DMV statistics illustrate how important it is to institute safer driving laws for teens:
- Drivers ages 16-24 represent 12% of the licensed drivers in New York State, but represent 20% of the drivers involved in crashes.
- 32% of all fatalities in the years 2004 through 2006 occurred in crashes that involved younger drivers.
- Younger drivers involved in fatal and personal injury crashes are twice as likely as all drivers in such crashes to have unsafe speed reported as a factor that contributed to the accident.
- Fatal and personal injury crashes that involve younger drivers are more likely to involve more than one vehicle than all the fatal and personal injury crashes.