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Is It Safe to Share the Road with Teen Drivers?

January 6, 2016 by The Sawaya Law Firm

Car accident

Newly licensed teens in Colorado must abide by specific restrictions until they reach the age of 18. These restrictions are designed to improve safety.

Teaching a teenager to drive can be a nerve-wracking experience for parents in Colorado. Sharing the road with teenage drivers can be equally worrisome to other motorists. The immaturity and lack of experience that young drivers have can be a dangerous and even deadly combination. This reality has led Colorado to develop a Graduated Drivers’ License program.

The National Institute of Health explains that all 50 states have GDL programs. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that they have proven to reduce the number of collisions with teenage drivers. Graduated Drivers’ License programs provide teens with a phased approach to driving without supervision and without restriction according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

At what age can teens get driving permits?

Colorado teens can apply for driving permits at 15 years old. The Department of Transportation outlines three tiers of requirements for permitted drivers. Teens who wait to get their permits at 16 or 17 years old do not have to take driver’s education or driver’s awareness instruction. They simply have to drive at least 50 hours while supervised for at least one year. They can participate in professional driving instruction if they wish.

Teens who get their permits between the ages of 15 years and six months and 16 years of age must also drive a minimum of 50 hours with supervision. While participation in professional driving instruction is optional, classroom instruction is required. This can be in the form of 30 hours of drivers’ education classes or four hours of driver’s awareness program training.

Teens who get their license between the ages of 15 years and 15 years and six months must take the 30 hours of drivers’ education class training. The professional driving instruction is required if they apply for their licenses before turning 16 years and six months of age.

When can teens get drivers’ licenses?

Teenagers in Colorado can get drivers’ licenses after having permits for at least 12 months. At first, they are not allowed to have any passengers under 21 years old in vehicles unless an adult is also present. After six months, they can have one passenger younger than 21 with them.

Driving is not allowed after midnight or before 5:00 in the morning. Seat belt use is mandatory and cell phone use is strictly prohibited. Upon turning 18 years old, restrictions are lifted and teens must follow all laws just as other adult drivers.

Proper help is needed after an accident

The benefits of Graduated Drivers’ License programs are noted but accidents can and still will happen. In these situations, it is important for victims to be prepared to seek help from an attorney.

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