Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
Lawmakers in Ohio were concerned about the high number of automobile accidents that involved teenagers. To address this matter, they looked at the research and statistics that were available to them. What they learned inspired a law that will hopefully create drivers that will be more experienced by the time they are ready to move on from the probationary license stage. The new law that became effective recently will hopefully bring about a significant reduction in the number of teenage car accidents.
It is reported that most 15- to 20-year-old deaths that occur nationwide each year are caused by automobile crashes, and according to AAA research, fatal teen crashes are more prevalent from May through September when schools are out. The study also showed that teen fatalities are significantly higher after 9 p.m. With the new law, the emphasis is put on experience rather than age.
Going forward, restrictions will be valid for all drivers under the age of 18 during the first year following the issue of a probationary license. Those drivers may not operate a vehicle between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. unless a parent or guardian is accompanying them. There are exceptions, and probationary drivers may be given permission to drive to school, church or work during those hours if they can present valid documentation from the institutions. Furthermore, only one non-family passenger may be in the car, and passengers in both the front and back seats must wear their seatbelts at all times. Also, probationary drivers may not engage in any mobile device use while they are driving.
The aim of the new law is to create responsibility in drivers while they are in the learning stage, with the hope that it will continue into adulthood. Too many teenagers lose their lives in car accidents in which young drivers are negligent. Ohio parents who have lost children in such accidents may be entitled to pursue compensation for end-of-life and other expenses. If the person who drove the car in which their children were passengers is found to have been negligent, wrongful death claims may be filed in a civil court. In cases in which the driver did not survive the accident, personal injury and/or wrongful death claims may be filed against his or her estate.
Source: timesreporter.com, “New law for teen drivers in effect“, Lee Morrison, July 2, 2015