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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 for a free consultation with one of our auto accident attorneys.

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Blog Author Steven M. Gursten
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