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How effective are night driving restrictions for teens?

teen driver night drivingMost nighttime accidents among teens occur before midnight, a new study shows. This means that night driving restrictions on teens that prohibit driving after midnight may be ineffective.

Driving in the dark increases crash risk for all drivers.  Young and inexperienced drivers face an even greater risk; one-third of fatal teen car crashes happen at night. That’s why every state in the U.S. (except VT) has laws restricting how late newly licensed teen drivers can be on the road unsupervised. In 23 states and the District of Columbia, the ban goes into effect at midnight or later. New research by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that this is too late.

Ruth Shuts, a researcher at the CDC, suggests 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. might be a more appropriate curfew for unsupervised newly licensed drivers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety proposes 8 p.m.

Pennsylvania Teen Driving Laws

Pennsylvania law prohibits newly licensed teen drivers from driving after 11 pm. Need a refresher on PA’s teen driving law? See a quick breakdown here.

Regardless of the night driving laws in your state, parents can take an active role in their child’s driving safety and set their own restrictions, particularly during the first year after obtaining a license. Young drivers should get practice driving in the dark, but it’s best if that practice is supervised and not too late at night. Other ways to reduce teen nighttime driving crashes and injuries include enforcing existing seat belt, phone use, and drunk driving laws.

If you or your teenager has been hurt in a car crash, contact a car accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys for an evaluation of your case, free of charge. Call, email, or chat live with us today.

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