Graduated licenses lower risks for teen drivers

All parents worry when they hand over the keys to the car to their teen drivers, and Ponca City parents are no exception. However, a recent report indicates that car accidents involving the most vulnerable drivers have been on the decline in the state of Oklahoma.

The report shows that accidents involving drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 have decreased by 28 percent since 2005 and now. This age range is the most likely group to be involved in a serious or fatal car accident. This should be a relief to parents out there who let their children drive even if the idea worries them.

Authorities believe one reason for the decline is the graduated licensing program the state put into place. Younger drivers are only allowed to drive during certain times of the day, and other times, only with experienced older drivers with full licenses. Those who have a restricted license are also not permitted to use a cellphone while driving and have restrictions regarding the number of occupants in a motor vehicle. These two steps help lower the possibilities of distraction, which is a leading cause of accidents for young drivers.

Although these statistics are good news, 23 teens still died in their first traffic accidents on Oklahoma highways last year, so authorities recognize there is still much work to be done. Reminding young drivers that driving is a responsibility that needs to be taken seriously is a good place to start. Parents should let their teens know that not only could irresponsible behavior lead to injuries, it could also lead to financial penalties, as well as criminal charges or other none-too-positive results.

Anyone who is injured in an accident caused by a teen or any other driver, has a right to seek compensation for injuries and losses suffered due to an accident. Speaking to a legal professional experienced in handling these types of cases can help a person determine what type of damages they can seek.

Source:, "Deadly crashes involving teenagers drop in Oklahoma" K. Querry, Oct. 21, 2013

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