Why is the state of California so concerned about regulating teen
driving and educating teen drivers? Statistically speaking, teens are
the worst drivers ever. Unlike more mature drivers, they don't have the
experience to know how to react in many common driving situations, they
feel invincible even though they aren't, and even smart teens don't
always exercise good judgment.
According to statistics from the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information
Association, car crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers
nationwide. Newly licensed 16-year-olds are the worst group of
drivers-they are 3 times more likely to be killed in a wreck than other
drivers are. Estimates of the annual cost of teen driving accidents
range from 34 to 40 billion dollars each year!
With those statistics, it's no wonder that California has special
requirements for teens who think they are ready to get behind the
wheel. In addition to the California driver's ed requirements, the
state requires that young drivers with learner's permits practice
driving for 50 hours with a parent or guardian before they can become
licensed. California also has a graduated license system for drivers
under 18. For the first 12 months that a teenager driver has a license,
he or she cannot:
- Drive alone at night, from the hours of 11pm to 5 am. Teens driving
during these hours must be accompanied by a licensed driver over the
age of 25.
- Drive with passengers under the age of 20, unless accompanied by a
licensed driver older than 25.