New STANDUP Act Aims to Reduce Risks of Teen Car Accidents in Chicago and Elsewhere

The new STANDUP Act is now urging states in the U.S. to adopt Graduated Driver Licensing laws to make sure teens meet specific minimum driving requirements, according to the National Safety Council. The new recommendations aim to help reduce the number of teen car accidents in Chicago and elsewhere in the United States.

Illinois was one of the first states to adopt a graduation driver’s licensing program, a move that has been credited with significantly reducing the number of fatal teen car crashes in Illinois each year.

Car accidents remain the number one cause of death for teens. Car accidents take the lives of more teens than the next three leading causes of death combined, which are homicide, suicide and disease. Statistics report that approximately 3,000 teens were killed, and more than 350,000 were injured in accidents involving teen drivers last year.Our Chicago car accident lawyers understand that teen drivers lack experience and safety knowledge as they possess much less driving time on the road than veteran drivers. It is important for parents and the community to come forward to discuss with teens the responsibilities and possible consequences of making poor driving decisions.

“Teen driving safety has become a national public safety issue,” said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Every day, 15 people die in motor vehicle crashes involving teen drivers including teens, their passengers, people in other vehicles and pedestrians. The STANDUP Act encourages states to pass stronger GDL laws, which are proven to reduce teen driving crashes by up to 40 percent.”

States must meet the following requirements under the STANDUP Act:

Three stages of licensing for these young drivers, including learner’s permits, intermediate stages, and full licensing, should be used.

Age 16 should be the earliest age at which a teen can begin the permit process.

Nighttime driving while unsupervised should be restricted, or closely monitored, during the intermediate stages of the learner’s permit until the teen receives their full license at the age of 18.

Driving while using cell phone, texting, or any other distracting devices should be prohibited, at the very least, until the age of 18.

Unrestricted, full licensing should not occur before the age of 18.

Passengers should be restricted. It is suggested that no more than one non-familial passenger that is under age 21 be present in the vehicle unless a licensed driver over the age of 21 is present.

Illinois experienced nearly 150 deaths because of car accidents that involved at least one teen driver in 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers you this parent-teen driving contract to help reach an agreement between you and your child regarding safe driving habits and rules.

Contact the car accident lawyers at Abels & Annes if you or a loved one has involved in an accident with a teen driver in the Chicago area. Call us at 312-924-7575 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

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