New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is co-sponsoring a bill to require that teenagers be 18 years of age before they obtain full driving privileges. At present, when a teen turns 17 in New York and completes a driver’s ed class, he or she can obtain a senior license. According to Gillibrand, she is seeking to reduce teenage driver deaths and serious injuries. New York has approximately 230,000 drivers aged 16 or 17, and statistically, these drivers are most likely to die in a fatal motor vehicle crash. The National Center for Health Statistics reported that for 15-20 year olds, there were 3,467 deaths and 281,000 injuries in 2005, and that car crashes were the number one cause of death.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has reported that increasing the teen driver’s age by one year reduces deaths by 13% per 100,000 teenagers. If the bill were to pass, it would have the most dramatic impact in western states such as South Dakota, which permits teens to drive without supervision at 14 1/2, and Idaho and Montana, who allow unsupervised drivers at age 15.
The legislation will be voted on early next year as part of the highway reauthorization bill.
Please contact the Westchester County Personal Injury lawyers online or toll free at (914) 428-7386 if you or a loved one is injured in a New York car crash or suffers injuries in any type of accident for a free consultation with an experienced and knowledgeable trial lawyer to discuss your rights and options.