Getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage for many teenagers. It is often looked at as a significant event and teens look forward to gaining a certain amount of independence that comes with being able to drive. However, it is also commonly reported that teen drivers more frequently get into car accidents. The attorneys at the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm are available to answer questions on all types of Kansas City car accident cases and will work hard to attempt to obtain favorable results after a car accident involving your teen.
Tips to Keep Your Teen Safe
- Familiarize yourself with the legal requirements – Like many states, Missouri has enacted a Graduated Driver License (GDL) law. Under the GDL law, first-time teenage drivers who complete the requirements for obtaining a license are issued an intermediate license. Upon turning 18, he or she can apply for a full driver’s license. Importantly, the following restrictions are placed on drivers with an intermediate license:
During the first six months that they have an intermediate license, drivers cannot drive with more than one passenger who is under the age of 19 and not an immediate family member;
After the first six months, drivers cannot drive with more than three passenger who are under the age of 19 and not an immediate family member; and
Between one a.m. and five a.m., drivers cannot drive alone unless they are accompanied by a licensed driver who is 21 or over. Exceptions are made for driving to or from school, a job, or an emergency situation.
For additional information on Missouri driving rules and regulations, check out the recently revised Missouri Driver Guide.
- Exercise extra caution around special events – Events like homecoming, prom, and graduation are exciting and fun events that teenagers should enjoy. Conversely, the periods around exams are often stressful for students. Around both these exciting and stressful times, parents should pay extra attention to the driving habits of their teenagers. Parents should insist on driving if a teenager seems too excited or distracted by events or exams to safely drive.
- Continue to discuss safe driving practices – Remember when you were a teenager and thought you knew everything? Chances are, your teen is a lot like you. They may think that now that they have passed the test, they are free to do whatever they want while driving. To keep safe driving practices at the forefront of a teenagers mind, it is important for parents to repeatedly talk about good driving habits. The Center for Disease Control & Prevention provides a checklist in the form of a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement. While you may or may not feel the need to sign the agreement, it does provide very helpful topics for discussion.
If an Accident Does Occur
Regardless of fault, finding out that your child was involved in an accident creates a sinking feeling in any parent’s stomach. We hope your teen driver stays safe, but car accidents do happen. If your teenage driver is injured in a car accident because of another driver’s recklessness, a Kansas City car accident attorney can help you recover compensation for the injuries your child received. If you have questions on how we may be able to help, contact us online or by calling 816-200-2900.
Robert Kinsman is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Robert Kinsman is passionate about normalizing the life of his clients after they have been seriously injured. Learn more about his experience here.