Graduated Licensing Program Helps, but Teen Drivers Still a Major Risk on Maryland Roads

Over the past few years, states across the country have made a concerted effort to increase the safety of young drivers through the three-tier Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) programs. Currently, all 50 states have some form of GDL program in effect, requiring young drivers between the ages of 15 and 17 to obtain various milestone achievements in one license tier before being moved to the next licensing tier. Each tier offers young drivers more freedom, but the program ends at age 18.

According to one national insurance news report discussing the efficacy of the GDL programs, the implementation of the programs has led to a 30% decrease in fatal accident involving teens between the ages of 15 and 17 years old. Despite the program’s success with younger drivers, the report notes that drivers ages 18-20 still suffer from high accident rates. Part of the problem, the article claims, is the fact that one in three drivers do not even obtain a learner’s permit until after the age of 18, effectively removing them from the strictures of the program. This age group contains those who are perhaps the most likely to be talking on the phone or texting while driving, both of which are illegal in Maryland.

According to the report, the Governors’ Highway Safety Administration is recommending that the program include all drivers under the age of 21. Maryland is on the cutting edge of the move toward stricter driver training laws, requiring all novice drivers – regardless of age – to complete 30 hours of classroom training as well as six hours of training behind the wheel. However, despite the efforts of lawmakers, inexperienced drivers will still continue to cause a large percentage of the serious and fatal car accidents across Maryland.

Holding Culpable Parties Responsible

Whenever a driver causes a serious or fatal accident in Maryland, that party can be held responsible for their actions through a Maryland personal injury lawsuit. While Maryland law does allow for parents to be held accountable for the negligent acts of their children, the standard for doing so is high, and liability is rarely imputed to parents. In fact, it is only when an accident victim can show that a parent condoned the negligent behavior that caused the accident that a parent can be liable. However, under Maryland law, all vehicles must be insured, so an injured party can seek compensation though the vehicle owner’s insurance policy.

Have You Been Injured by an Inexperienced or Teen Driver?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in any kind of Maryland car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled personal injury attorneys at the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have decades of collective experience holding negligent parties responsible for the injuries they have caused. Call 410-654-3600 to speak with a dedicated accident victim advocate about your case today.

More Blog Posts:

Respondeat Superior: Holding an Employer Liable for the Negligent Actions of an Employee, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published October 4, 2016.

Court Affirms Jury’s Defense Verdict in Low-Speed Rear-End Collision, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published September 20, 2016.

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