Everyone starts out as a novice behind the wheel. However, new drivers can pose a greater risk to themselves and others on the road because they have less experience and ability to react to hazardous conditions and other dangerous driving situations.
For novice drivers or parents of recently licensed teenagers, there are several safety precautions that can mitigate the dangers of inexperience on the road. It is also important to know what to do after a teen driver car accident in Columbus to be fully prepared for any situation. If you or your child was recently in a traffic crash, reach out to our attorneys who understand cases involving underage drivers and can help you navigate any legal procedures you may wish to take.
Columbus Underage Driving Laws
In Ohio, the age of eligibility for driving with a learner’s permit is 15 years and 6 months. At 16 years old, applicants may pursue a probationary license after completing a number of requisite hours on the road and in a driver’s education course. Licensees under the age of 18 are also subject to several driving restrictions such as curfew hours. A full list of requirements and regulations for new drivers in Columbus can be found on the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles website.
Common Causes of Teen Driving Accidents in Columbus
Besides a lack of experience on the road, there are several factors that can put underage drivers at a higher risk of traffic collisions. Many teenage car crashes involve inattentive driving due to one or more of the following common distractions:
- Texting or phone usage
- Listening to loud music that drowns out outside noises, warnings, and sirens
- Disruptive passengers or greater number of passengers
Teen drivers are also often unfamiliar with the street routes, operation of their vehicle, and various dangerous situations that could arise on the road. It takes time to develop skills behind the wheel, which is why novices are more at risk of collision than practiced drivers.
How can Parents Protect their Kids from Car Accidents?
Parents can help ensure their child’s safety by knowing where they are and where they are going when they head out on the road. Helping underage drivers plan a safe path to their destination and looking over weather conditions with them beforehand can also be critical in preventing traffic accidents. Parents of newly licensed drivers should also educate them on what to do in the event of a car crash.
Underage drivers may feel overwhelmed, scared, or uncertain following their first car accident, so it is important that they know what to do in the event of a collision before they go out on the road alone. Any driver of any experience level should gather the following information after a traffic wreck:
- Names and contact info of the other motorists involved and any nearby witnesses
- Insurance, license, and vehicle information of the other drivers involved
- Photographic and/or video evidence of the accident scene
- Weather information, if the crash occurred due to hazardous road conditions
Knowing what to do in the aftermath of a crash is important, but it is difficult to be 100% prepared for anything. If anyone is injured, drivers should first contact emergency medical personnel following a vehicle collision. After collecting the information listed above, teenage drivers or their parents can contact our local attorneys to assist in dealing with insurance companies or pursuing car accident claims. We have experience with situations involving underage drivers in Columbus and can help determine the next best step following a traffic crash.
Talk to a Columbus Attorney with Experience in Teen Driver Car Accident Cases
If your child was involved in a traffic accident, it is important to seek legal advice from someone who understands the specific factors in these types of cases. For underage drivers, any of the restrictions on a probationary license could come into play following a car crash. Minors also may not understand all of the right questions to ask, terminology to use, or steps to take following a vehicle collision.
At O’Connor, Acciani & Levy, we are prepared to answer any concerns parents may have and can work with young drivers to figure out the next best step to take after their car accident. Call us today for a consultation.