While National Teen Driver Safety Week comes to an end on Saturday, teen driver safety is something that should be talked about all year long. In fact, the Governors Highway Safety Association reports that parental involvement is critical in keeping teens safe when driving. Whether this looks like creating a driving agreement, having ongoing dialogues about driving safely, seeking out guidance from trained professionals -- or a combination of all three -- those teens whose parents are involved tend to pay closer attention to the rules.
In Illinois there are graduated drivers licensing laws. These laws are intended to ease teens into driving while addressing some of the more common risks teen drivers face: driving at night and driving with passengers.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, in Illinois a teen can start driving at the age of 15, but with restrictions. This is considered the learning stage where teens need to participate in 50 hours of supervised driving.
By age 16, after completing nine months at the learning stage, teens move up to the intermediate stage. This means for the first year of driving a teen cannot have more than one passenger under the age of 20 in their vehicle with them and cannot drive between the hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., Sunday thru Thursday, or 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., Friday and Saturday.
For parents of Illinois teens, the idea is to know these rules and understand these restrictions are in place to encourage safe driving and prevent accidents. Parents should use these rules as leverage when enforcing rules and creating a parent-teen driving agreement.
This agreement, according to the safety association, should outline the rules for teen drivers and list consequences of what would happen if these rules were broken. Not only do these agreements set some ground rules regarding driving, but just having the agreement creates a dialogue about driver safety.
Source: Forbes, "Teens With Parents Who Set Driving Rules 71% Less Likely To Drive Drunk, GHSA Says," Tanya Mohn, Oct. 22, 2013