Parents Concerned About Teens Riding with Risky DriversOctober 22, 2019
Parents want to protect their children from dangerous situations, but it is not possible to be with them 100 percent of the time. Though they can teach their teens about safety, they cannot always control the environments that teens find themselves in, including riding with their teenage friends. A poll sponsored by University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital surveyed parents with children ages 14 to 18, with the goal of advocating for safer driving. The answers offered insight about the risks that their children face.
Over one-third of teenagers are passengers in vehicles driven by other teens once or twice every week, and close to two-thirds of parents feared that this placed their teens in dangerous situations. This included riding with drivers that were speeding, having too many teens in the vehicle, and distraction from cell phones.
Parents attempt to limit how frequently their teenagers ride with teen drivers in unsafe situations, such as when the driver had a license for under six months, after midnight, and during bad weather. Almost half of the respondents told their teenagers that being in a car with more than two other teens was a bad idea.
Having Important Conversations
Parents should have frank discussions with their teenage children about these issues, and stress that they can call them for rides whenever they have safety concerns. According to the survey, 88 percent of parents did this, with instructions to take the keys if the driver was impaired and call for a ride. Another topic that parents and their teens should discuss is the licensing laws in their state. All 50 states have graduated licensing laws, which can regulate time of day driving and passenger restrictions.
Maryland’s Rookie Driver Program
Maryland has a Rookie Driver graduated licensing program for all new drivers, regardless of age, to promote safe driving. There are three levels:
- Learner’s Permit: The minimum age to apply is 15 years, nine months. For ages 18 and under, it must be used for nine months until the driver can proceed to the next stage. They must complete 60 hours of practice with an experienced driver aged 21 and up, plus 30 classroom hours.
- Provisional License: Drivers must pass the Maryland driver skills test to obtain this license, and restrictions apply to those under 18. These include not driving passengers under age 18 without a supervising driver, not driving from midnight to 5:00 a.m. with certain exceptions, always wearing a safety belt, and never using a wireless communication device while driving.
- Full Driver’s License: This can be applied for once the first two stages are completed.
Understanding and sticking to these rules will promote safer environments for teen drivers, teen passengers, and everyone else on the road.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Safe Teen Driving
Keeping your teenager safe is of the upmost importance, but if they become involved in a car accident, you can turn to the trusted Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton for sound legal guidance. Call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or complete an online form today.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.