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Why You Should Be Extra Cautious of Teen Drivers in the Summer

Posted on in Car Accident

Larimer County car accident lawyer teenage driver

By this time of year, most schools are out of session for summer vacation. For a teenager with a brand-new driver’s license, this newfound freedom is exciting. Operating a car is a privilege and a responsibility that may be overlooked with the long summer nights and lack of supervision. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, car accidents are the leading cause of the deaths of teenagers in the United States.

Colorado Driving Laws for Teenagers

In Colorado, the minimum age for a teenager to have an initial driver’s license is 16 years old. This is only after taking a drivers' education course, having a permit for at least 12 months, and completing a minimum number of hours on the road driving with an adult over the age of 21 who has a valid driver's license. During this time, there are restrictions for new drivers under the age of 18, but a teenager may choose to ignore these rules.

One of these restrictions involves nighttime driving. Colorado motorists under 18 years of age cannot drive between the hours of 12:00 am and 5:00 a.m. unless they have held a driver’s license for at least one year. If a parent does not enforce a curfew for their child, it is easy to stay out late with friends during the summer. In addition, for for the first year in which a teen has their license, or until they turn 18, they should also not have more than one passenger in the car under the age of 21. The only exception is if the people under age 21 are family members. This rule counts at nighttime and during the day, but if only one teenager in a friend group has a license, he or she may feel pressured to drive with a full car.

Other young people riding in the car with an inexperienced driver may cause distractions which may lead to an accident. This is especially true if alcohol is involved—whether the driver is drinking or not. The national Youth Risk Behavior survey revealed in 2017 that 16.5 percent of high school students have ridden in a car one or more times within a 30-day period in which the driver was drinking alcohol. In the year prior, 15 percent of teenagers involved in a fatal accident had a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher.

Contact a Fort Collins Car Accident Lawyer

Teenagers who have taken the required driving courses and passed all the tests deserve the privilege to drive. However, the rules restricting new drivers are there to protect both the driver and surrounding people. Peer pressure and independence may let a teen forget the rules, but if he or she causes an accident, it is the other driver who suffers. If you have been in an accident with a teenage driver, contact an experienced Larimer County car accident attorney today to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Call Hoggatt Law Office, P.C. at 970-225-2190 today to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dmv/faq-driver-license

https://nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline/App/Results.aspx?LID=XX

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

123 North College Avenue, Suite 160,
Fort Collins, CO 80524

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