A recent post to this blog was about a tragic accident which killed two teenage girls. Such news makes one consider teen and inexperienced drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more teens are killed every year by car accidents than by any other cause. In Maine, the statistics are equally disturbing. According to the Secretary of State,
“•Nearly one young driver is killed each week in Maine;
•More than 60 young drivers are injured each week in Maine;
•Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death of young people ages 15 to 24sin both Maine and the nation;
•In Maine, 15 to 24 year olds comprise 12.5% of all licensed drivers, but they are involved in 25% of all motor vehicle fatalities and 30% of all injuries.”
In order to counter some of the risks, Maine’s licensing procedure for those under 21 is taken in three steps. First, at the age of 15 residents are allowed to apply for a learner’s permit. They must pass a vision screening, written examination and have taken a driver education course. The permit allows driving with another licensed person over the age of 20 in the vehicle. During this time, they must accumulate 35 hours of practice driving, including 5 hours at night.
After 6 months, they are allowed to apply for an intermediate license. They must pass a test behind the wheel to qualify. At this stage, they may drive alone, but not between the hours of 12 p.m. and 5 a.m. The only passengers allowed are immediate family members UNLESS there is a driver over the age of 20 in the front seat who has been licensed for more than 2 years. Cell phone use while driving is not permitted.
Drivers are required to have an intermediate license for 180 days before applying for a full license.
You can find out more information about the licensing process on the State of Maine Secretary of State’s website
If your teenager has been injured in an accident, or if you have been injured by an inexperienced driver, contact Peter Thompson and Associates for a consultation at 1-800-917-1784 or read more on our website, www.Peter-Thompson-Associates.com, on our car accident practice page.