Car wrecks involving teens

Injury Lawyers Explain Graduated Driver Licensing for Teens

Despite anecdotal news stories of the elderly being involved in many car accidents, the most dangerous age for drivers are the teen years. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reveals that teens have the highest risk of crashes per mile traveled because they believe they’re immortal, overestimate their abilities, and are unfamiliar with the hazards of the road.

For example, teen drivers are less likely than adults to drink and drive. However, their risk of a crash is higher when they do. In 2011, 19 percent of the 423 drivers killed in the 16-17-year-old age group had Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels greater than 0.08. About 30 percent of the 686 fatalities aged 18 to 20 had the same BAC levels.


Like all states and the District of Columbia, Colorado addresses this problem with a three-stage Graduated Driver Licensing program.

  • The initial learner stage starts at age 15 and has a mandatory holding period of 12 months. The teen requires at least 50 hours of supervised driving with 10 hours at night.
  • The intermediate state has a minimum age of 16 and prohibits unsupervised driving from midnight to 5 a.m. For the first six months of driving, they may not carry passengers and for the second six months, they are allowed only one passenger.
  • The final stage has a minimum age of 17 and removes all restrictions on passengers and night-time driving.

Your teen may follow all these rules to the letter and still be hurt in an accident with less-responsible drivers. When that happens, do not sign anything and please contact us right away. As your Colorado Springs injury lawyers, we’ll fight to protect you, your child, and your family.