There’s no doubt that for most teens, a high point of their teenage years is getting their driver’s license. This is a rite of passage. Unfortunately, for their parents, it’s a huge cause of concern and stress.
According to information from the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) that even though teens drive the fewest miles, those ages 16 to 19 are almost three times more likely to die in a car accident than their older counterparts. This is why it is so important for teens and their parents to become familiar with the teen driving laws in the state of Illinois.
If your teen is in an accident with another driver, they may be able to recover compensation for their injuries and damages. To know your rights, get in touch with car accident lawyers from Drake & Collopy, P.C. for assistance.
Important Laws Related to Teen Drivers in Illinois
Recently, the state of Illinois has enacted several laws targeted specifically at teen drivers. These include:
- Organ donor register. Teens who are age 16 or older will be asked if they want to join the organ and tissue donor registry for the state of Illinois.
- Parental consent. Teens who are 16 or 17 and want to receive their driver’s license in the state must have written consent provided by their parent or a legal guardian. The consent can also be taken away by the parent or legal guardian at any time and for any reason until the teen is 18 years of age. If this happens, then the driving privileges that the teen has won’t be reinstated until the consent have been reestablished or until the teen reaches age 18.
- Driving record access. It’s possible for parents and legal guardians of teens under the age of 18 to view their child’s driving records at any time.
- License loss due to street racing. Any teen who is caught street racing will have their Illinois state license revoked and may have the vehicle they were caught racing in impounded for a period of five days.
- Alcohol-related charges. A person who is under the age of 21 and is caught drinking purchasing, receiving, or possessing alcohol, no matter if they are driving or not, will have their license suspended automatically.
Understanding the Graduated Driver License Programs in Illinois
Due to the high rate of teen driver deaths in Illinois and across the country, a graduated driver’s license program is in place. This allows a teenage driver to gain more practice before being completely legal to drive alone. In Illinois, the rules of the program are:
- 15-year-old teens: Teens who are a minimum of 15 years old can receive their learner’s permit and start taking driver education classes. They must follow curfews for nighttime driving and can only drive if a parent, legal guardian, or another licensed driver who is 21 years old or more is in the front seat. The teen is required to log a total of 50 hours of practice time with 10 hours being driving at night to move on to the next stage.
- 16 to 17-year-old teens: Once the teen’s parent or legal guardian certifies that their teen has practiced the total driving hours required, they can provide written permission for their team to receive a driver’s license. For the initial year after getting this license or until the teen reaches the age of 18, the teen is only allowed to have a single passenger who is under the age of 20 in the vehicle with them. Exceptions are made for some family members. It’s also required that they follow the set nighttime driving restrictions.
- 18 to 20-year-old teens: At this age, the restrictions are lifted, which means a teen can move on to the full licensing stage in the state.
Call an Attorney After Suffering an Injury in an Illinois Accident
If a teen or anyone in your family is involved in an accident with a negligent driver, you have rights. One right is to recover compensation for the injuries and damages suffered. Our car accident lawyers at Drake & Collopy, P.C. are ready to help with your legal claim and work to gather evidence to ensure that you get the maximum amount of compensation possible for your case. Contact us for more information.