Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Association (NHTSA). Per mile, teens are involved in three times as many fatal accidents than any other age group. Parents can help teen drivers stay safe on the roads by following Tennessee's graduated driver licensing system and by setting driving standards.
Tennessee's Graduated Driver Licensing
Immaturity and inexperience are two of the contributing factors in fatal teen car accidents. These contributing factors have lead to the NHTSA to recommend States implement a graduated driver licensing system (GDL). A GDL system eases teens into driving by limiting their high-risk exposure. Tennessee's graduated driver licensing system has been in effect since 2001. Here are the following requirements for teen drivers in Tennessee:
- Teens must be at least 15-years-old.
- Teens have to pass a standard vision screening.
- Teens have to pass a Class D knowledge test.
- A parent or legal guardian of the teen must sign a minor/teenage affidavit and financial responsibility form.
- Teens must show proof of school attendance from a Tennessee school.
- Teenagers are only allowed to driver with a licensed driver over the age of 21
- Teens are not allowed to drive between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- Seatbelts are mandatory for the driver and passengers under the age of 17.
Intermediate Restricted License
- Teens must be 16-years-old.
- Teenagers must have a valid learner permit for at least 180 days.
- Teens must have 50 hours of behind the wheel driving experience (at least 10 hours of nighttime driving).
- Teens must pass a road skills test.
- Teens are only allowed to have one passenger, unless one or more of the passengers are over the age of 21.
- Teens cannot drive between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., unless accompanied by a parent or a licensed driver over the age of 21.
- Seatbelts are mandatory for the teen driver safety and passengers aged 17 and under.
Intermediate Unrestricted License
- Teens can receive an unrestricted license at 17 (Tennessee DMV).
- Seatbelts are mandatory for all passengers aged 17 and under.
Driving Standards Set by Parents
The NHTSA recommends that all parents or legal guardians set driving rules teach teen driver safety for their teenagers and to stipulate the consequences for breaking the rules.Below is a list of the suggested rules:
- Seatbelts should be worn at all times by the driver and passengers.
- Teens are forbidden to talk or text on the cell phone while driving.
- Limit how many passengers the teen can have in the vehicle.
- The teen driver is not allowed to drink alcohol while driving; besides it is against the law for individuals under 21 to drink alcohol.
- Set a curfew for when the teenager must have the car home.
Following these teen driver safety tips can reduce young drivers chances of being in a wreck.
Contact a Knoxville Car Accident Lawyer
If your teen has been injured in a Tennessee car accident, he or she may have legal recourse. You and your teen may eligible to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages and property damage. Contact the car accident lawyers at Greg Coleman Law to discuss your legal options.
Greg Coleman Law offers free case evaluations to the public. For immediate assistance, fill out the contact form on this page.