Young drivers have a higher risk of being involved in serious auto accidents in Georgia for several reasons. First, they have significantly less experience behind the wheel than an older, seasoned driver, so young drivers do not always know how to handle emergency situations on the road. Additionally, younger people often have less of an appreciation for danger and tend to be more reckless and take more risks.
Unfortunately, these characteristics lead to a large number of accidents. In fact, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that of ten percent of all fatal auto accidents in 2011 involved a driver aged 15 to 20 years.
Safety Laws for Young Drivers
To lower the risk of accidents involving young drivers, Georgia has specific laws regarding driving privileges for residents between the ages of 15 and 20. First, our state has a graduated licensing program with three steps of driver’s licenses. The first two types of driver’s licenses have certain restrictions intended to keep young drivers out of especially dangerous situations:
- Learner’s Permit—This Class CP permit applies to drivers who are 15 or older and requires that the teen driver has a fully licensed adult over age 21 seated next to them in the vehicle at all time.
- Intermediate Provisional License—This Class D license is granted to drivers who are 16 or older who have held a learner’s permit for at least one year with no violations. Class D drivers may not drive between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m., and may only have certain passengers in the vehicle to limit distractions.
- Full License—When a driver turns 18 and has had no serious traffic violations in the past year, they may receive a full license with no restrictions.
Additionally, all drivers must complete a driver’s education course approved by the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS).
Because drivers under 21 may not legally drink, Georgia also has a “zero tolerance” law regarding drinking and driving for drivers 15 to 20 years old. This means that instead of the usual legal limit of 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC), young drivers violate the law with only a BAC of 0.02. This law is meant to keep young drivers off the road if they have even had one drink of alcohol.
Though there are many laws intended to limit auto accidents involving young drivers, young drivers still make reckless decisions and violate the laws. If a young driver acts negligently and causes an accident and injuries, any injured victims have the legal right to hold that driver liable for any losses they suffered.
Contact an Experienced Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
At Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC, our Atlanta injury attorneys understand the devastating injuries and damage an auto accident can cause and we work to help auto accident victims recover for their losses. We offer free consultations to discuss a possible case with no obligation, so please call our office today at (404) 869-8600 for help today.