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      Danger of teen drivers

      While it's fair to say that there are numerous teenagers in Mid-Michigan who are responsible drivers that pay attention to all the safety rules, statistics show that if you're under 18, you're at risk.

      According to Carfax.com:

      • In the last decade, over 68,000 teens have died in car crashes. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for American teenagers.
      • Car crashes are the #1 cause of death for 16-year olds. Taking on the role of driving coach and sharing years of experience may save your child's life.
      • Teens are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as other drivers. 65% of all teen passenger deaths occur when another teen is driving.
      • At 35 mph, a 2 second lapse in attention means you've traveled 100 feet without looking! Teens are much more likely to be distracted when traveling with other teens.
      • Teens have the lowest seat belt use rate of all drivers.This rate becomes worse when there are other teens in the car.
      • During the first year of licensed driving, 1-in-5 male and about 1-in-10 female 16-year old drivers will have a crash.
      • Males are more than twice as likely to have serious crashes as females. But while the crash total for males has been declining over the past 20 years, the total for females has been rising.

      According to DMV.org Michigan has a history of demanding driver training for its teens. In 1955, it became the first state to mandate a program and to legislate that it be taught in all public schools.

      In 1996, it became the first state to legislate a Graduated Driver License program. The program consists of three licensing levels and two components of driver education developed to help young drivers make a smooth transition onto the state's roads. You can start driver education as soon as you turn 14 years and eight months old.

      Level 1 Learner's License Eligibility To be eligible for a Level 1 Learner's License, applicants must:

    • Present a Primary Group identification document from the DE-40 Identification Requirements for an Original Driver License or Personal Identification Card form to verify the full name and date of birth of the teen.
    • Be at least 14 years 9 months old
    • Pass a vision test
    • Provide their Social Security number
    • Meet physical and mental standards as prescribed by the Secretary of State
    • Successfully complete Segment 1 of an approved driver education program and present a Segment 1Certificate of Completion
    • Have a parent, legal guardian, or responsible adult sign the Level 1 application
    • Level 2 Intermediate License Eligibility To be eligible to apply for a Level 2 Intermediate License, applicants must:

    • Present a Level 1 Learner's License or acceptable identification from the DE-40 Identification Requirements for an Original Driver License or Personal Identification Card form
    • Be at least 16 years old
    • Pass a vision test
    • Meet physical and mental standards as prescribed by the Secretary of State
    • Have possessed a Level 1 Learner's License for not less than 6 months
    • Must have successfully completed Segment 2 of an approved driver education program and present a Segment 2 Certificate of Completion
    • Pass a skills test and present a Skills Test Certificate
    • Have no convictions or civil infractions, license suspensions, or at-fault crashes for the 90-day period immediately prior to applying for a Level 2 Intermediate License
    • Have a parent, legal guardian, or responsible adult sign the application to certify the 50 hours behind-the-wheel experience
    • Level 3 Full License Eligibility To be eligible for a Level 3 Full License, applicants must:

    • Be at least 17 years old
    • Complete at least six months at Level 2
    • Complete 12 consecutive months without a moving violation, an accident in which a moving violation resulted, an accident, a license suspension, or a violation of the graduated license restrictions (may be six months at Level 1 and six months at Level 2, if consecutive)
    • A new Level 3 license is created and mailed from Lansing using the electronic image on file (obtained at Level 2). This license is issued at no-fee to the applicant. A teen will automatically advance to a Level 3 License provided he or she is age 17, has met all driving requirements, and has parental authorization. This authorization is granted when the parent or legal guardian signs for the teen TMs Level 2 License.

      GDL ends for all teens when they are 18.

      Parent Responsibility After passing Segment One of driver education, teens must go to a Secretary of State branch office to apply for their Level 1 license. A parent or legal guardian must accompany the teen to sign the application. The parent or legal guardian must sign the application or the teen driver will not be issued a Level 1 License. Signing indicates parental/legal guardian approval for licensing of a minor.

      The Secretary of State is working with parents to help ensure teen drivers become safe and courteous drivers. As a parent or legal guardian, you are often the best judge of your teen driver TMs progress, skill, and maturity behind the wheel. Involvement from you is crucial to the coaching, learning, and driving experience of your teen driver so he or she becomes a safe driver. Although GDL requires teens to complete 50 hours of supervised driving, you are encouraged to provide supervision beyond this minimum.

      You also have the legal right to request that your teen be held at a certain GDL level, dropped back a level, or have all driving privileges canceled if you believe your teen is not ready to handle certain driving responsibilities. Forms for changing the status of your teen TMs GDL driving privileges are available at any Secretary of State branch office.

      GDL ends for all teens at age 18.

      Helpful Information & Resources

      ABC's For the Road Safe Young Drivers: A Guide for Parents and Teens by Phil Berardelli

      DriveHomeSafe.com Teen driving website center. For parents and future teen drivers needing solutions, instruction, statistics and education on everything about safe teen driving.

      Carfax.com 15 tips to keep your teen driver safe

      Just 4 UTeens For Teen Drivers doing research, lots of information and driver safety education is here to help you find what you're looking for. This was completely designed with teens in mind.

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