It is common knowledge that teenage drivers are one of the most likely groups to be involved in automobile accidents and fatalities. Nationwide efforts to correct this issue have steadily decreased the number of deaths caused by teenage drivers. However, for the first time in a decade, the number of fatalities involving teenage drivers increased. The Governors’ Highway Safety Associationreported that in 2015 there was a 10 percent rise in teenage driving accidents from the year before. Moreover, teenagers still have 1.6 times the chance of being involved in a collision as compared with adult drivers.
What can be Done?
Training programs for new drivers have proven to be effective. Every state, including Alaska, requires new drivers under the age of 18 to participate in graduating licensing requirements. These programs often require teens to have a certain amount of supervised driving practice, as well as to take training courses. However, anyone over the age of 18 can obtain a full driver’s license without passing through the graduating licensing requirements. Not surprisingly, the number of deaths caused by 15-17 year old drivers is now less than the fatalities produced by drivers between the ages of 18-20.
Graduated licensing rules also significantly reduce crash rates for young drivers by eliminating high-risk behaviors. For example, the law in Alaska:
- Prohibits teenagers from driving at night between 1:00-5:00 A.M., unless they are accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years or older.
- Limits the number of non-family passengers under the age of 21 that a new teen driver can have in the car, unless a parent or guardian is present.
I Have Been in an Accident Involving a Teenage Driver
Even the best training programs cannot entirely eliminate automobile accidents involving teenagers. The good news is that teenage drivers are subject to the same insurance requirements as adults. In Alaska, all drivers must have the minimum $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident bodily injury liability coverage. However, medical costs and lost wages can easily surpass these minimums, and that does not include damages for pain and suffering. This is where the services of a qualified Alaskan personal injury lawyer can be invaluable.
If you were involved in a car accident with a teenage driver, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Alaska as soon as possible. Merdes Law Office is Board Certified and ready to help you if you are seriously injured in a wreck. For a free initial consultation, contact the Merdes Law at 907-452-5400, or visit www.Merdes.com for further information.