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Teen Laws

Seatbelt Safety: Why Seatbelts are Essential for Teen Drivers

The first safety restraints were designed more than 200 years ago	 but seat belts weren't routinely installed in vehicles until the 1970s. Most seat belt laws around the country did not get introduced until the 1980s or 1990s	 and there are still millions of teenagers every day who choose to get into a vehicle without buckling up. Read on to discover why it's important for you to wear a seat belt every time you drive.
The first safety restraints were designed more than 200 years ago but seat belts weren't routinely installed in vehicles until the 1970s. Most seat belt laws around the country did not get introduced until the 1980s or 1990s and there are still millions of teenagers every day who choose to get into a vehicle without buckling up. Read on to discover why it's important for you to wear a seat belt every time you drive.

The first safety restraints were designed more than 200 years ago but seat belts weren't routinely installed in vehicles until the 1970s. Most seat belt laws around the country did not get introduced until the 1980s or 1990s and there are still millions of teenagers every day who choose to get into a vehicle without buckling up. Read on to discover why it's important for you to wear a seat belt every time you drive.

Seat Belts Save Lives

Unfortunately most fatal crashes involving a teenager are the result of at least one person not wearing his or her seat belt at the time of the accident. Numbers suggest that drivers between the ages of 16 to 24 are least likely of all drivers to wear a seat belt. Government studies suggest that wearing a seat belt is the best way to prevent injury while in a motor vehicle. The Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine revealed that seat belt laws have reduced injury rates by 40 percent and also reduced the severity of injuries by 35 percent.

State Laws Make a Difference

Despite research on safety seat belt laws aren't on the books in every state. Some states haven't adopted strict standards which means that teen drivers might think that seat belt safety isn't important because punishment for not wearing a seat belt isn't severe. For example New Hampshire has no seat belt law and South Dakota has only two minor rules related to seat belt use. In states with few or lax seat belt laws motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens aged 16 to 19. If you don't want to be part of that statistic it pays to wear a seat belt and encourage your friends to do the same. It only takes a few seconds to fasten a seat belt and wearing one may save a life. In addition to taking practice tests and receiving parental instruction behind the wheel you should make wearing a seat belt an essential part of learning to drive safely.

Teen Driving Legislation by State

Getting your first driver's license is a major milestone and one of the first steps towards adulthood. Getting that first license may seem like an overwhelming process. You are required to take driver's education courses study DMV practice tests	 and spend hours behind the wheel learning to drive. Recent legislation across the country has made the process of getting a license more challenging for teen drivers in order to prepare teens to drive safely.
Getting your first driver's license is a major milestone and one of the first steps towards adulthood. Getting that first license may seem like an overwhelming process. You are required to take driver's education courses study DMV practice tests and spend hours behind the wheel learning to drive. Recent legislation across the country has made the process of getting a license more challenging for teen drivers in order to prepare teens to drive safely. While every state has slightly different driving laws for teens most states now utilize a graduated driver licensing system.

Getting your first driver's license is a major milestone and one of the first steps towards adulthood. Getting that first license may seem like an overwhelming process. You are required to take driver's education courses study DMV practice tests and spend hours behind the wheel learning to drive. Recent legislation across the country has made the process of getting a license more challenging for teen drivers in order to prepare teens to drive safely. While every state has slightly different driving laws for teens most states now utilize a graduated driver licensing system.

With this system there are two or three stages a teen must complete before earning an unrestricted driver's license. Typically the graduated licensing system includes a learner stage with supervised driving and mandatory classes an intermediate stage that combines supervised and unsupervised driving and the unrestricted license stage. In addition to graduated licensing laws 48 states have restrictions on nighttime driving and in 47 states there are restrictions on the number and age of passengers in the car for new teen drivers. Currently 37 states prohibit new drivers from using cell phones while driving. While graduated licensing systems and cell phone laws are present in most states there are some laws that exist in only a small part of the country. The following laws are unique to specific states.

South Dakota

South Dakota has one of the youngest driving ages in the nation. Teens are able to begin taking driver education courses beginning at 14 years of age and can earn a restrictive driver's license at 14 years 3 months old.

New Jersey

In New Jersey drivers younger than 21 years of age who have a novice or intermediate stage license are required to display a new driver decal on their vehicle.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has one of the strictest supervised practice requirements. Teenage drivers in this state must log at least 65 practice hours prior to earning a full license.

South Carolina

Teen drivers can not operate a motor vehicle after 6 p.m. during the winter months or 8 p.m. during the summer months.

Teen Texting and Driving

Teen Texting and Driving
Getting a license is a milestone every teenager anticipates, but new drivers face more dangers than ever before. With all the recent headlines about the dangers of distracted drivers, parents are scrambling for ways to stop their kids from texting while driving. According to this report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 20 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 to 20 claim that texting while driving has no effect on their ability to drive, but that same age group has the highest crash rate of all drivers. As a parent, how can you prevent your teen from becoming another statistic?

Getting a license is a milestone every teenager anticipates, but new drivers face more dangers than ever before. With all the recent headlines about the dangers of distracted drivers, parents are scrambling for ways to stop their kids from texting while driving. According to this report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 20 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 to 20 claim that texting while driving has no effect on their ability to drive, but that same age group has the highest crash rate of all drivers. As a parent, how can you prevent your teen from becoming another statistic?

Lead by Example

The first thing every parent should do is set a good example. If you text, email or make calls while you drive, your teenager will assume that it is acceptable behavior and be much more likely to follow suit.

Talk to Your Teen

You may find that your teen is unaware of how risky texting and driving really is. Lay out published statistics so that he or she will understand that these dangers are real.

Good Driver Rewards

Give your teen positive reinforcement to encourage good driving. Rewards are proven to be one of the most effective ways to promote good habits, so negotiate with him or her to establish reasonable incentives for driving safely.

Smartphone Monitoring

There are many mobile apps available today that will allow you to keep track of your teen's driving habits. Most of these apps come with a small monthly subscription, and they will send you alerts if your teen is speeding or texting while in a car.

Be Authoritative

Texting while driving can be more deadly than drinking and driving, so do not hesitate to punish your teen for engaging in this dangerous behavior. Make a zero-tolerance rule and enforce it strongly. Punishment may seem harsh, but it can save lives. Texting while driving is dangerous, and it is also illegal in many states. Your teen could risk hefty fines or even lose their license for violating the law. To make sure you know the law in your state, Free DMV Practice Tests offers cheat sheets to help you learn what rules apply.

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