Among teenage drivers, car accidents is a leading cause of death in the United States. In 2007, the state of Massachusetts added new requirements to the law which, were meant to lower the number of teenage driving accidents and accidental deaths. This law greatly increased the number of hours that teenage drivers were required to spend in supervised driving before they could obtain a drivers’ license. Now teens are actually required to drive under the supervision of a parent for at least forty hours, and with an instructor for at least twelve hours before taking the test to get their license. Parents of kids who are under the age of eighteen and wish to obtain a drivers’ license must also attend a two hour seminar before their child can be issued a license in the state of Massachusetts. Penalties for teenage drivers who speed or break other driving laws were also raised. If you have questions about these rules or other driving laws in Massachusetts, or if you or your loved ones have been injured in an accident, give Car Accidents Lawyer Doug Lovenberg a call today.
Massachusetts Laws Result in Fewer Accidents
Since the implementation of those new rules, the number of accidents which involved teenaged drivers dropped by as much as fifty percent. In the year 2006, there were 12,673 accidents in the state of Massachusetts, which involved drivers between the ages of 16 and 18. According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, there were only 6400 such accidents in the next year, after the implementation of the stiffer teenage driver laws.
Number of Injuries or Death in Teen Accidents Lowered
The number of injuries or deaths caused from teenage accidents has dropped even faster than that of accidents, according to a report from the Boston Globe. However drivers who are under the age of eighteen are still three times as likely to be involved in an accident than their older, more experienced peers, and more 18 year old drivers are involved in accidents than before. The reason is a bit surprising, and may explain why the number of younger teenage driving accidents has gone down. It may not be what many would think.
Stiffer Laws Cause Teens to Wait Before Obtaining License
At first glance, the decreasing numbers in teen driving accidents seems to be great news. Upon closer examination, however, the reason behind those numbers could just be a case of putting off the inevitable. While the number of teen driver accidents has gone down, it could be because the number of teen drivers has gone down. As soon as the new requirements were added to Massachusetts state laws, driving schools took advantage of the new rules by doubling the price of their standard course. The price of the course was about $300 before the implementation of the law, and rose to as much as $700 soon after.
Teens Opt Out of Getting License
With those prices, and the other new rules, many teens are opting to wait until they are 18 to get their license. That is because the new laws apply to drivers who are under the age of 18. Unfortunately, this means that the new 18 year old drivers are much more inexperienced than they would have been before. So while the number of teenage driving accidents has gone down according to statistics, those numbers may not be telling the whole story. If need a lawyer for teenage drivers, give Boston Car Accident Attorney Doug Lovenberg a call today.