Since they are inexperienced drivers, teens are more likely to get into accidents.
Because of this, there are laws in place to prepare and protect teens when driving.
Knowing and understanding these laws provide parents with helpful structure when teaching their children how to drive responsibly.
Illinois new driver laws affect teens’ abilities to obtain learner permits and driver licenses.
Illinois Teenage Driving Laws Summarized
Before your teenager reaches the legal age for driving, you should understand the Illinois new driver rules affecting teenagers. These include:
- Parents must provide written consent for their underage child to obtain a driver license;
- Parents have free access to their child’s driving records through the Illinois Secretary of State’s website;
- Illinois will deny driving privileges for anyone under the age of 21 who violates any alcohol-related laws, regardless of whether a vehicle was involved;
- Teen drivers will lose their license for street racing and may have their car impounded; and
- All electronic device use, including cell phones with hands-free kits, is illegal for any driver under age 19.
Although these highlights are essential for teen drivers and their parents, all drivers should familiarize themselves with and follow all applicable state and local laws.
Illinois Graduated Driver Licensing Program
To better prepare young drivers, Illinois has implemented a graduated driver licensing program. The terms of the program are as follows.
At age 15, teens can apply for a driving permit and enroll in driver’s education classes. During this phase, they can only drive with a parent or guardian in the car, or with a licensed driver age 21 or older. This phase also imposes nighttime driving restrictions.
After logging at least 50 hours behind the wheel, permitted drivers can progress to the next phase.
Initial Licensing Phase
At age 16 or 17, teens can obtain a license after completing the permit phase requirements. During this phase, teens still have nighttime driving restrictions, and they may have only one other passenger under the age of 20 (there are exceptions for family members in some cases).
Full Licensing Phase
If a teen successfully completes the first two phases of the program, they may obtain a full license at age 18. If they did not proceed through the established phases, they must complete an adult driver’s education course.
Helping Your Teen After a Car Accident
When your teen begins driving, we recommend providing them with tools and knowledge in case they get in an accident. Some important points include:
- Getting to safety and contacting the police immediately to report any accident;
- Calling 911 and seeking emergency medical attention if necessary;
- Never admitting fault after an accident, even if they think they were to blame;
- Collecting as much information as possible at the scene, such as photos and witness contact information; and
- Providing details so you can notify your insurance carrier.
Taking these steps will protect your child’s legal rights and ensure they get the care they need.
If there were significant damages, it’s always best to discuss the accident with a personal injury lawyer. You and your teen may be able to receive compensation for injuries, emotional distress, and property damages.
Dealing with the Insurance Companies After an Accident
You must report any accident to your insurance company in accordance with the terms of your policy. However, you and your teen should proceed with caution before providing a recorded or written statement to any insurance company.
Likewise, do not accept any settlement agreement or sign any documents without first talking to a personal injury lawyer for guidance.
When to Contact an Illinois Personal Injury Attorney
If your teenager sustained injuries in a car accident, talking to a personal injury lawyer is crucial. An attorney can help you understand your child’s legal rights and pursue fair compensation for any injuries or damages your family sustained.
At VanDerGinst Law, we can help. We pride ourselves on excellent communication and holding ourselves to the highest standard for service and results.
Contact us today to schedule your no-cost consultation.