Teen Driver Car Accidents
Obtaining a driver’s license is one of the most exciting rites of passage in the teenage years. A driver’s license offers a teen a sense of freedom and is a landmark on the path to adulthood. However, with newly gained freedom comes more risk taking and a common place a teen will exhibit risky behavior is on the road. As car accident lawyers serving Warwick residents, Tapalian Law knows that teen drivers are the cause of a high percentage of auto accidents. Warwick is the second largest Rhode Island city with many high traffic areas resulting in multitudes of vehicles on the road, including those driven by teenage drivers.Teen Motorists Exhibit Most Risky Driving Behavior
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for American teens and auto accidents account for over one-third of deaths for those ages 16-18. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teenage drivers have the highest crash risk of any age group. Teen drivers also exhibit the riskiest driving behavior among the age groups. As auto accident attorney’s, at Tapalian Law we commonly see car crashes caused by teens exhibiting distracted or risky driving habits, such as texting, talking on a cell phone, listening to music, talking to passengers, or eating and drinking resulting in countless teen driver accidents in Warwick and the surrounding cities and towns. Most teen drivers have minimal driving experience beyond the required driver’s education classes and training. Add to that inexperience and immaturity, the temptation of texting, using a cell phone, chatting with passengers in the car, and other forms of distracted driving, and it is a surefire recipe for a disastrous vehicle accident. In fact, a teen is much more likely to engage in one or more potentially risky behavior when driving with a peer compared to driving with no passengers in the car. They are three times as likely to exhibit potentially risky driving behavior, especially speeding, when in a vehicle with multiple teen peers.Rhode Island Graduated Licensing System for Teenaged Drivers
The state of Rhode Island adopted a graduated licensing system to reduce teen crash rates. The graduated licensing system is designed to put limits on drivers under the age of 20 which gradually lift as they gain experience. As the Rhode Island teen driver gains driving experience and meets the criteria of the current licensing level, they can graduate to a less restrictive type of license and eventually reach a full unrestricted Rhode Island driver’s license.
- Level 1: Rhode Island Limited Instructional Permit
Drivers between 16-18 years of age are eligible for the Limited Instructional Permit upon completion of a certified 33-hour driver education course and passing a written exam. The teen driver must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to sign their permit application at the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles. Once received, teen drivers must:
- Carry permit at all times when driving.
- Be accompanied by an adult supervising driver occupying the front seat.
- Not carry any additional passengers.
- Permit valid for 1 year or until teen driver reaches age 18.
- Level 2: Rhode Island Limited Provisional License
After completing the requirements of the Limited Instructional Permit for six months, a teen driver may graduate to a Limited Provisional License. The teen driver must:
- Carry permit at all times when driving.
- Provide signed certification showing 50 hours of driving practice with 10 of the 50 hours being nighttime driving.
- Be accompanied by a supervising driver that occupies the front passenger seat next to the teen driver.
- Limit passengers under the age of 21 to one per time, except for immediate family members.
The teen driver may drive unsupervised between the hours of 5am- 1am if driving to a place of employment, or volunteer activities related to fire, rescue, and emergency medical services. This limited provisional license expires when the teen driver turns 18.
- Level 3: State of Rhode Island Full Operator License
Teen drivers between 17 ½ and 18 may apply for a full operator license if they have held the limited provisional license for a minimum of 12 months without a conviction for a moving violation or a seat-belt infraction within 6 months of applying for the full operator license. A parent, or legal guardian, must accompany the teen driver during the application process. After meeting all criteria, the driver may obtain the full operator license and drive without supervision, passenger limitations, or time restrictions.
At Tapalian Law, we understand the pain and confusion that can follow an auto accident, especially when severe injuries ensue. If you have been hurt in a car accident caused by a teen driver in Warwick, whether it be due to distracted driving, drunk driving, or another cause for collision, seek the guidance of a teen driver car accident lawyer in your area. At Tapalian Law, we represent injured victims of vehicle accidents, including teen driver car accidents, and help them get compensation they are entitled to. With offices in Providence and Seekonk, we are conveniently located to Warwick residents. For a free, no-obligation consultation for your auto accident personal injury claim, contact the accident lawyers at Tapalian Law today at 401-552-5000, or reach us online.