NEW LAWS FOR TEENAGE DRIVERS TAKE EFFECT
Did you know that car crashes are the second most common cause of death for teenagers in the state of Minnesota? There were over 6000 crashes involving a teen driver last year alone – that’s over 16 crashes a day! Our MN car accident attorneys handle many cases where a teen driver caused a crash because he or she was distracted, or just too inexperienced with driving. These cases often result in serious injuries.
The Minnesota Legislature passed a new law this year to address this problem. The law increases the number of hours teenagers must spend behind the wheel before getting their driver’s license. Now, when a teenager goes in to take the drivers’ test, he or she must first submit a supervised driving log. The log must show at least 50 hours the teenage driver spent driving under the supervision of a licensed driver at least 21 years of age. In addition, at least 15 of those hours must be at night. (The teen’s hours are reduced to 40 hours if the parent submits a certificate of completion of the new 90-minute parent class that is being offered.)
REDUCING TEEN CAR CRASHES IN MINNESOTA
Once your teen gets their drivers license, make sure to remind him or her about Vanessa’s law. In memory of Vanessa Weiss, killed in a car accident just days before her 16th birthday in May 2003, Vanessa’s Law was passed a year later. Vanessa was a passenger in a vehicle driven by an unlicensed 15-year-old. Under Vanessa’s Law, a teen’s provisional license will be revoked because of an impaired driving crime or crash-related moving violation. They then lose their license until they are at least 18 years old. If they commit these crimes as an unlicensed driver, they cannot even apply for a permit until they turn 18.
Other laws important to a teenage driver are:
It is illegal for drivers under age 18 to use a cellular/wireless phone, whether handheld or hands-free — except to call 911 in an emergency. Another new law applies to drivers of all ages: It is now illegal to compose, read, or send text messages or access e-mail while driving.
For the first six months after a teenager gets their license: Only one passenger under the age of 20 is permitted in the vehicle, unless accompanied by a parent/guardian. For the second six months of licensure: No more than three passengers under the age of 20 are permitted, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS FOR TEENAGER INJURY
If your teenager is injured in a car accident, or you are injured by a teen driver, please call us for a free consultation with an attorney. We will answer your questions and explain your rights. Our best lawyers have helped hundreds of people throughout MN get fair compensation from the insurance company and hold the driver accountable.
The MN Department of Public Safety has a funny video explaining the new laws. You can check it out by clicking here.