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Dangers of teen drivers and ways to address them

On Behalf of | May 17, 2023 | Auto/Truck Accidents

Teen drivers, due to their inexperience and potential risk-taking behavior, are statistically more likely to be involved in traffic accidents. The risks associated with teen driving include distracted driving, speeding, not wearing seat belts and impaired driving.

In Oklahoma, like many other states, measures have been taken to help mitigate these dangers and improve the safety of teen drivers on the road.

Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system

Oklahoma has implemented a GDL system to allow new drivers to gain experience under lower-risk conditions. The system includes different stages:

  • Learner stage: At age 15.5, teens can practice driving under the supervision of a licensed adult
  • Intermediate stage: At age 16, teens can drive without an adult but with certain restrictions
  • Full privilege stage: At age 16.5, teens can drive without any restrictions if they’ve completed driver’s education

Parents need to keep a close eye on which stage their child is in or the child could risk non-compliance with the law.

Driver’s education

Driver’s education is encouraged and, in some cases, required for teens in Oklahoma. These programs teach young drivers about road safety, laws and the consequences of risky behavior, such as drinking and driving or texting while driving.

Nighttime and passenger restrictions

During the intermediate stage, teen drivers are not allowed to drive between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. except for activities related to work, school, church or emergencies. They are also not allowed to carry more than one passenger without adult supervision.

Distracted and drunk driving laws

It’s illegal for all drivers in Oklahoma to text while driving, helping to curb one significant risk factor for young drivers. Oklahoma has zero-tolerance laws for drivers under 21, meaning any detectable amount of alcohol in a teen’s system can lead to DUI charges, helping to discourage underage drinking and driving.

Parental involvement

Parents play a crucial role in enforcing these rules and modeling safe driving behaviors. Oklahoma encourages parents to stay involved in their teen’s driving practice and to reinforce the importance of safe driving habits.

Despite these measures, teen driving accidents remain a significant concern in Oklahoma and across the U.S. Victims of these crashes can seek compensation to help offset the costs of the injuries they suffered. State law limits how long you have to do this, so don’t waste time getting your case moving if you’re in a position to take legal action.