Minor drivers between the ages of 16-19 are at high risk for auto accidents, endangering both themselves and others sharing the road. According to the Center for Disease Control, auto accidents are the leading killer of teenagers, with seventeen auto accident fatalities a day occurring in 2010. The Chicago auto accident attorneys regularly prosecute auto accident cases resulting from inexperienced, minor-drivers. If you were injured in a collision caused by a minor-driver, contact our office now for a free case evaluation.
These new drivers are still learning the skills and habits that it takes to become safe drivers. With teens three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than drivers over 20 years of age, once they are behind the wheel there is a high liability for them and even their parents if they cause an injury or fatal vehicle accident.Illinois Teen Driving Requirements
Illinois has adopted a graduated driving license (GDL) system, which is meant to give teenagers the opportunity to gain the skills they need to become safe drivers in lower-risk driving situations. This system has three levels that must be completed to gain full adult driving privileges.
- Instruction permit. At 15-years or older, minor drivers may apply to receive their instruction permit. They must pass a written exam and have 50 hours of practice driving before they are eligible. With an instruction permit, teen drivers may only drive during limited hours and with a supervising licensed driver over the age of 21 in the vehicle.
- Initial driving license. Once a minor driver has turned 16-years old and has had their Illinois instructional permit for at least nine months with no traffic violations, they can apply for their initial driving license. They must pass a behind-the-wheel road test to be issued their license. This license gives them the ability to legally drive by themselves, however there are restrictions on driving at night and with other minors in the vehicle.
- Full driving license. When a teen turns 18-years old and have had no driving violations in the prior six months, they may apply to receive their full driving license. This license gives them full driving privileges without time or passenger restrictions.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the GDL system does reduce risk for teen drivers and other drivers sharing the road by giving these new drivers an opportunity to practice safe driving under restricted conditions. However, since minor drivers are still inexperienced and often over estimate their own abilities, even the GDL system cannot prevent all injury accidents and teens still cause a larger percentage auto accidents.Teen Auto Insurance And Accident Liability
Due to their higher risk of causing a motor vehicle accident, young drivers are more expensive to insure under a auto insurance policy. However, like all drivers in Illinois, teens must have at least liability insurance coverage to drive. Although the minimum liability may be less expensive, this only offers $20,000/40,000 coverage in bodily injury caused to other drivers and $15,000 in property damage. Since teen drivers are more likely to be in a serious and even fatal crash, full coverage and higher ceilings on coverage should be considered.
Another factor in accident liability for minor drivers is that parents may be financially responsible if their teen driver causes an accident. Under Illinois law, if a minor is on what is considered family or parental business, such as running household errands, if they cause an accidents the parents may be held liable. This can be difficult to prove and is determined on a case-by-case basis but can put parent’s in financial jeopardy if they do not have adequate insurance coverage on their teenager. This is yet another good reason for parents to fully insure their teenage drivers as the higher insurance premium may protect them from even higher financial costs if their child causes an injury accident.Chicago Auto Accident Lawyers Helping People Injured In Car Accidents With Teen Drivers
Any injury sustained in an Illinois car accident must be addressed with the individuals best interest in mind. In situations where a person is injured with a teen driver, other aspects of the accident must be considered to ensure that insurance coverage for the accident does not contain any exclusions or other other clauses which could result in coverage exclusions. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers appreciates the issues encountered when teen drivers injure others in accidents. We welcome you to contact us to discuss your legal options in the wake of an Chicago auto accident. 888-424-5757
Learn more about teen driving requirements and statistics in Illinois: