The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a nonprofit, scientific and educational organization aimed at reducing loss on the nation’s highways, including deaths, personal injuries and property damage. Its research has divulged that in the year 2006 alone, 42,642 people died in motor vehicle crashes. In particular, they have found young adult and teen drivers to be at risk, especially drivers younger than the age of 18.
Teen drivers are at significant risk on the road because they lack both the judgment that comes with maturity and the skill associated with experience. In attempts of ameliorating this situation, the Institute has recently suggested raising the minimum driving age from age 16 to age 17 or even age 18. It is believed that raising the age requirement will provide teen drivers with more training and education. In fact, a recent analysis of crashes in New Jersey, which currently has an age requirement of age 17 for full licensure, showed a lower rate of fatal crashes among 16 year-old drivers when compared with the State of Connecticut, where the age requirement is 16.
Many safety institutions, schools and parents of teens are in full support of the Institute’s aforesaid recommendation. The District Attorneys of Long Island’s Nassau County and Suffolk County both responded favorably to the Insurance Institute’s recommendation.
In New York State, a senior license can be obtained at age 17 if the driver has a junior license or limited junior license and has completed a high school or college driver-education course. At age 16 1/2, drivers can get a junior license, but it has restrictions, such as permitting solo driving only to work, college or an evening high school classes. To get a junior license, drivers also must have completed 20 hours of supervised driving.
In New York, there has been a drop in the number of fatal accidents involving drivers younger than 20 since graduated licensing laws were implemented in 2003, according to the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System. To further reduce the increasing number of teen deaths behind the wheel, many New York school boards have considered forbidding its students from leaving campus at lunch time.
While there is no definite plan in place at the time,and there is some disagreement on what is the appropriate age for driving, it is apparent that something must promptly be done and some change is needed to reduce the number of injuries and deaths that result from young drivers.
The lawyers at Levine & Slavit have decades of experience getting results for our clients, including personal injury claims of pedestrians injured by negligently operated motor vehicles. We have offices in Manhattan and on Long Island, handling cases in New York City, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and surrounding areas. To learn more, contact the personal injury lawyers at Levine & Slavit for their help, or watch our videos.