Roadside Chat - Drive like your friends' lives depend on it
Teen Driver Safety Week starts Sunday. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teen drivers have a higher rate of fatal crashes, mainly because of their immaturity, lack of experience, and underdeveloped skills. They speed, they make mistakes, and they get distracted easily – especially if their friends are in the car. You won’t always be in the vehicle with your teen driver but instilling some basic safety rules, like limiting the number of passengers, could help your child become a safer driver.
Iowa’s graduated driver’s license was put in place to help teens get the experience they need to be safe drivers while reducing some of the risks. If your child has successfully passed driver’s education and is 16, the next step on the way to becoming a safer driver is an “intermediate” license. Here are the “dos” and “don’ts” of this license type. Pay special notice to the passenger restrictions.
WHAT CAN I DO WITH THIS LICENSE?
- Drive without adult supervision between 5 a.m. and 12:30 a.m.
- Drive at any time with adult supervision. Adult supervision means your parent, guardian, custodian, an immediate family member at least 21 years of age, a driver education instructor, or a person at least 25 years with written permission from your parent, guardian, or custodian. The supervising adult must possess a valid driver's license.
WHAT CAN'T I DO WITH THIS LICENSE?
- Drive without adult supervision between 12:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. Your parent, guardian, or custodian can complete a Waiver of Intermediate Driver's License Hour Restriction form (form 431170)to waive this restriction for school or work purposes. Once completed, the form needs to be carried in the vehicle when driving after hours.
- Use a cell phone, smartphone, tablet, or other electronic communication or entertainment device while driving. This doesn’t apply to equipment permanently installed in your vehicle.
- If the back of your license says you have a passenger restriction, for the first six months you have your intermediate license, you cannot carry more than one minor passenger that is not a relative when driving without adult supervision. A relative means someone that is your brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, or another minor living in your household.
- Carry more passengers than the number of seat belts in your vehicle, even when driving with adult supervision.
Good communication with your teen isn’t always easy, but it’s critical to their development. https://youtu.be/m_HfbiM5jjE
In Iowa in 2022, there have been 267 deaths in traffic crashes. That’s an increase of eight since last Friday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at https://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/stats/daily.pdf