Learning to drive is a skill that takes time and practice. New drivers, particularly when they are teenagers, sometimes think they are more skilled than they actually are. According to the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles, teen drivers are hurt or killed in accidents at a higher rate than any other age group, and they also receive more citations than other drivers.
A split second error in judgment can easily lead to a wreck. California laws that pertain to teen drivers and inexperienced drivers are intended to help keep people safe, but sometimes accidents still happen that are caused by those driving with a learners permit.
Learners Permit Requirements in California
In California, drivers who are under the age of 18 but over the age of 15 ½ can apply to obtain a “provisional” license. During this time, there are provisions placed on your license while you are still learning to drive. These provisions include:
- You’re required to drive with your parent or another adult who is at least 25 years of age and has a valid California driver’s license.
- You aren’t allowed to transport passengers under the age of 20 unless your parent or licensed driver over 25 is present.
- You aren’t allowed to drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
- You must have your permit for at least six months before you can take the test for a driver’s license.
While you are learning to drive with a provisional permit, you are expected to operate within these provisions and to obey all traffic laws.
Insurance Requirements While You Have a Learners Permit
The parent or guardian of a teen driver is expected to accept financial responsibility for anything that happens while the teen is driving with a provisional permit. Owners of vehicles need to carry minimum liability insurance, which is:
- $15,000 for injury or death of one person
- $30,000 for injury or death of two or more persons
- $5,000 for property damage
Proof of insurance coverage or financial responsibility must be carried in the vehicle or by the teen at all times. The teen should be able to produce this document if there is an accident. It’s also expected that if there’s an accident, the parent or responsible adult would be present to guide the teen on what to do when an accident happens, such as calling the police and exchanging information with the other driver.
When Teens Don’t Follow the Law
When a teen is accompanied by his or her parent or legal guardian and has insurance coverage, the insurance should cover damages or injuries that happen in the event of an accident. Teens can get themselves and their parents into a lot of trouble if they drive without an adult during this time and don’t have insurance coverage.
A teen driving without a licensed adult in the car who is in an accident may have their provisional license revoked for a period of time. Consequences may be more severe if the teen was driving under the influence of mind-altering substances or driving while distracted, such as texting and driving.
If You Were Injured in an Accident
Accidents can happen when you least expect them. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a teen driver or any negligent driver, you deserve to be compensated, and hiring an experienced car accident attorney can make a big difference in making the process go smoothly.
At Megeredchian Law, we believe in being available to our clients whenever they need us. Get in touch with us by filling out the form on this page, and we’ll get back to you promptly to discuss your case and see how we can help.