Rural danger: The problem of underage driving

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2022 | Car Accidents

Like many other states, Indiana tries to introduce teenagers to driving fairly slowly to give them time to develop their skills and gain confidence behind the wheel. You must be at least 15 and enrolled in a driver training course to obtain a learner’s permit. Or you can skip the course if you are at least 16 and can pass vision and knowledge tests. Young drivers can only receive a probationary driver’s license after turning at least 16 years and three months old, and after holding a permit for at least six months.

This graduated approach to driving privileges is meant to keep teens (and others on the road) as safe as possible while they learn to drive. But while most teens in Bloomington and other cities wait until they are 15 to start driving, in rural areas it can be a different story. It is not uncommon for American youths aged 13 or even younger to drive tractors and pickup trucks on their family farms.

Immature drivers on rural roads

On their private property, what parents choose to let their children do with motor vehicles is not as much of a public safety concern. But on public highways and roads, an inexperienced and immature driver can put everyone in danger. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2020, there were 47 fatal car accidents and 1,057 injury-causing crashes involving drivers aged 13 or younger.

Compensation options after an underage driver injures you

Drivers that young simply lack the ability to safely navigate even relatively empty rural roads and highways. They are also uninsured, potentially making it more difficult for someone hit by an underage driver to receive proper compensation. But there may be other options, such as making a claim on your uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance policy (UIM), if you have one.

 

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