Colorado Teen Driving Alliance looks to reduce fatal injuries

The Colorado Teen Driving Alliance wants to help parents teach their teens how to be responsible drivers. Parents can now take online will give parents the knowledge they need to help their teens comply with current state law. It is hoped that this will help reduce injuries and deaths among teen drivers.

A survey conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment indicated that only 6.4 percent of the parents surveyed knew about and understood the components of the Graduated Driver Licensing laws that apply to teen drivers. These laws include the requirement of seat belts, restrictions on passengers and curfews for teens. In order to obtain a license, teens are required to have 50 hours of driving practice with a guardian or parent. The online course provides lessons that parents may give their teens in conjunction with this practical instruction.

The Colorado Department of Transportation reported that fatalities among teens ages 15 through 19 dropped over 67 percent between the years of 2004 and 2011. However, in 2012, the percentage of car accident related fatalities among teen increased by 10 percent. Giving parents a better understanding of the restrictions placed on teen drivers may help stop, and possibly reduce, any further increase in fatal crashes involving teen drivers.

The first two years a teen drives are critical. After the two-year mark, a teen's probability of being involved in a fatal accident decreases by 50 percent. Fatal crashes are not always the fault of the teen driver, however. When teens or their passengers suffer injuries, fatal or otherwise, in a car accident, it may be possible to claim damages associated with those injuries through the filing of a lawsuit based upon evidence of negligence by another party.

Source: journal-advocate.com, Colorado Department of Transportation: Teen fatal crashes moving back up, No author, Oct. 22, 2013

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