The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued recommendations about restricting teenagers’ ability to drive during nighttime hours. These recommendations are based on a study of fatal crashes caused by teenage drivers from 2009 to 2014. The study results indicated that nearly three out of five fatal crashes involving 16 or 17-year-old drivers occurred between 9:00 p.m. and midnight. One-third of all fatal car crashes involving teenagers occur at night, and 57% of those crashes occur prior to midnight.
As a result, the CDC has concluded that teenage nighttime restrictions starting at 10:00 p.m. or earlier will both reduce injuries and save lives. Despite these recommendations, only 26 states restrict teenagers from driving after 12:00 a.m. Although 49 states restrict nighttime driving as a part of graduated driver licensing, these restrictions are simply insufficient. Based on its data, the CDC says that restrictions beginning at midnight aren’t sufficient to prevent the accidents that cause serious injuries and even death. The inexperience of teenage drivers, when coupled with the fact that all age groups of drivers have a higher risk of fatal crashes at night, result in even more increased risks for teenagers driving at night.
Ideally, the CDC recommends that nighttime driving restrictions for teenagers start at sundown, which is when higher risks of accidents begin. Distracted driving, smartphones, and alcohol all contribute to the teenage driver accidents, especially during the nighttime hours. Nonetheless, only three states – Kansas, New York, and North Carolina, restrict nighttime teenage driving beginning at 9:00 p.m. Many states are reluctant to restrict nighttime driving due to teenagers who work, play sports, or are involved in other activities at night; however, the CDC points out that teenagers engaged in these activities could be exempt from the restrictions.
As the CDC data illustrates, teenage drivers are particularly prone to accidents, especially while driving at night. The Madison personal injury lawyers of Boller & Vaughan devote their time to advocating on behalf of clients who have fallen victim to all types of car accidents, whether they are pedestrians, drivers, passengers, or bicyclists. Our job is to seek compensation for you and your family through the applicable legal framework, while you can focus on healing from your injuries and rebuilding your life with your family. Never hesitate to call our office for legal advice and counsel about your situation, so that we make our experience and knowledge work for you.