Parents of teenagers: before you get your child into driver’s ed classes and let them get behind the wheel, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the state’s teen driving laws and your potential liability.
Here’s a quick look at some of the basic information you should be aware of.
- Graduated licensing: Florida uses a graduated licensing system, meaning before a teen driver can receive full driving privileges, they are allowed to get driving experience until graduating to complete driving privilege.
- Learner’s permits: Teens can apply for learner’s permit at age 15. Within the first 90 days of having the permit, they’re only allowed to drive until 10 p.m., and must be accompanied by a licensed driver over the age of 21.
- Driver’s license application: After the teen has held a learner’s permit for a year and completed 50 hours of certified behind the wheel practice, he or she is eligible to apply for a driver’s license.
- Restrictions: At age 16, a teen can drive between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. At 17, those hours go from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. Most restrictions are removed by the time the driver turns 18.
There are other issues associated with teen drivers Florida parents should be aware of. One is the principle of vicarious liability, in which the actions of one entity are considered the same (in essence) as those of another. In driving, that means the actions of a teen driver are considered the same, in some circumstances as those off the parents. This means parents of teen drivers could be legally liable for their children’s actions on the road.
There’s also the issue of insurance to consider. Teen drivers are more expensive to insure because they have less experience as drivers and are more likely to be involved in accidents. Parents should be prepared to see a significant hike in their auto insurance premiums.
For more information about what you should know if you’re the parent of a teen driver (or soon-to-be driver), contact an experienced Bradenton, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.