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Michigan’s new teen driving law

Analysis of Michigan’s teenage driving laws by auto accident attorney: Teen crash risk increases for each passenger, many teen car accidents preventable

As of March 30, 2011, all Michigan teens driving on a “Level 2″ license have two new restrictions:

o A new passenger restriction prevents teens from having more than one passenger under the age of 21 in the car — unless the individual is a member of the driver’s immediate family, or the driver is traveling to or from school or a school-sanctioned event.

o Driving between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. is prohibited — unless driving to or from employment, or with a parent, legal guardian, or licensed adult over 21 years old.

What is a Level 2 driver?

A “Level 2″ driver is part of Michigan’s graduated licensing approach. Teens gain more driving privileges as they get older and acquire more driving experience. A Level 2 license holder must be at least 16 years old and have successfully completed segment 1 and 2 of a driver’s education program approved by the Michigan Department of State, as well as passed a driving skills test and presented a skills test certificate. A teen driver cannot have a car accident or violation in the 90 days prior to applying for a Level 2 license.

Are teenage car accidents preventable?

In my own experience as an attorney specializing in auto accidents, I’ve handed many car accident cases involving teenage drivers. Many of these car accidents are caused by inexperienced or distracted teen drivers. I recognize that teens can complain about Michigan’s unfair teen driving laws, or that they’re discriminatory. But the accident statistics are clear: teen crash risk increases for each additional passenger in the car. I believe these new driving restrictions are a step in the right direction to preventing teenage car accidents.

Take a look at the statistics. According to the 2009 Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, younger drivers “were less likely to be alone in their car at the time of the crash,” with 169 people ages 16-24 killed and nearly 18,000 injured.

For more information about these new restrictions, here’s a special website provided by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning: First & 10.

Soon, I’ll write about the best automobile insurance coverage for your teen driver.

- Steve Gursten is recognized as one of the nation’s top attorneys handling serious car accident injury cases and auto insurance No-Fault litigation. Steve speaks and writes extensively on safe driving and Michigan’s auto laws, and is available for comment.

Related information:

TBI – leading cause of death and disability for American youth

Top 5 hazardous actions by teen drivers

Avoiding car accidents in Michigan – safe driving techniques

Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you. Call (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our auto accident attorneys.

Posted in: BLOG, Michigan Car Accidents, Michigan Driver Safety and tagged , , , , , .

8 comments on “Michigan’s new teen driving law

  1. bob m on said:

    I like this new provision. I don’t know how many times I see a car of teenagers talking laughing and looking around. They seem to be more prone to socializing while driving and being less atten tive which obvioulsy can lead to more accidents.

    I’d like to see this in more states.

    Thanks – bob M

  2. Personally Im a teenage driver and Ive never been in an accident. Why should the drivers with a good driving record be punished because some others cant control their socializing habits. Its just not fair for the rest of us that are careful drivers. Its quite frankly, rediculous. My grandmother who is 64 years old has been in three accidents in the last 4 years yet they don’t put any driving restrictions on seniors still driving. I also know drivers who have a graduated drivers lincense who are careless drivers aswell, yet they have no restrictions aswell. I think they should treat each case differently. If you get in an accident then they need to restrict your lincense individually.

  3. khp49 on said:

    When do these laws not need to be followed…??

  4. Kirstie on said:

    I agree with Dan. Completely. Careless/excessively social drivers ought to be punished individually. This law takes away the privileges of those teens that are alert, careful drivers, such as myself. This law [in the least] needs some tweaking.

  5. JAMES C on said:

    I AM THE FATHER OF 2 TEEN DRIVERS. MY PERSONAL FEELING ARE THAT THESE LAWS ARE RIDICULOUS. FIRST OF ALL I UNDERSTAND THERE ARE MORE DISTRACTIONS ON THE ROAD TODAY THAN WHEN I EARNED MY LICENSE(CELL PHONES, ETC.) I BELIEVE THEY GIVE KIDS TOO MUCH TIME ON THE ROAD BEFORE THEY ARE LET GO. THEY MORE CONFIDENT THEY ARE, WITH 300 HRS OF DRIVING TIME, THE MORE RECKLESS THEY ARE. I HAD LESS THAN 10 HRS OF OPEN ROAD DRIVING BEFORE GETTING MY LICENSE, AND WAS CAUTIOUS AT EVERY TURN, AFRAID OF WHAT WAS GOING ON AROUND ME.

  6. stacy H. on said:

    It is very important for people young and old to understand safe driving and to be responsbable to decline from driving if impared, to tired, not able to drive in certain situations,like if they are sick, or get dizzey. To be ready to admit when
    they are easily distracted by too many people in the car. To be able to be curtious enouph by acknowledgeing that there are other drivers and passengers who are important and deserve your full competency behind the wheel. Not distracted by loud music, cell phone conversations, texting, or just being in a hurry. Slow down, leave a margine so you can give another person some grace. Are you really all that important? Is it everyone elses fault that your prioities are more important than anyone elses. Will your kid melt if your five minuts late to pick them up? I see more parents on cell phones while they are driving than a I do teenagers. What kind of example are you setting? I feel there needs to be new laws for everyone.

  7. I’m a teen driver and I already had my license a year when the law changed, right before I turned 17.. It used to be that when your 17 you had no restrictions. Correct? I have read that because I already had my license before the law changed I have no curfew. But! I cannot drive with more than one person unless their 21 or older. I personally think that I should be able to drive with my friends I am a very safe and careful driver all we do is talk but I only look at them for a short second, I’m always warding the road I have to where I live there are a lot of deer.. I’m just saying it is very hard go do things when I’m the only one that can drive. NOT HAPPY!!!

  8. i am a teen driver and i belive tht the time and amount of money and the time it takes to finish segment one and 2 is absurd. i believe that you could take segment one and if you do good enough, you should be able to go out with your instructor, take your road test and if you do well enough, you should get your liscense.

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