Keeping Young Drivers Safe: Know the Risks - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Thursday, 31 May 2018

Keeping Young Drivers Safe: Know the Risks

#AskStephanieSlavens

Parents simultaneously cheer and curse the day their children become old enough to become licensed drivers. It’s a day when a teenager gains new independence and no longer must rely upon mom and dad for a ride, but it is also the day that parents worry as their child confronts the dangers and risks of being a young driver. Unfortunately, government studies show parents have a great deal to be concerned about. Drivers between 16 to 24 years of agerepresent only 13 percent of licensed drivers, but they account for 24 percent of traffic fatalities and 26 percent of accidents involving serious injuries. Graduated driver licensing programs are a start toward making young adults better drivers, but there are a few behaviours young drivers can adopt to reduce the risk of an accident.

Graduated licensing for drivers

Ontario introduced graduated licensing for all new drivers. The process leading to a full licence, known as a G licence, takes about 20 months from application through completion. The process is designed to allow new drivers to gradually gain experience by practicing their driving skills over time before being granted a full licence. It works particularly well for young, perhaps immature, drivers who can benefit from a gradual transition into the “adult world.”

The way graduated licensing works is applicants must complete a licence application, pass a vision test and pass a written test demonstrating their knowledge of the rules of the road. They are then issued a Class G1 licence.

A G1 licence has the following restrictions:

  • G1 licence holders must have a fully licenced driver in the vehicle.
  • G1 drivers must have a zero blood alcohol level.
  • G1 drivers cannot drive between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m.
  • Certain highways and expressways are off limits to G1 drivers.

After 12 months with a G1 licence, eight months if a person attended a course at an approved driving school, a person can take a road test to move up to a G2 licence. G2 drivers must remain at that level for at least 12 months, but unlike a G1 licenced driver, they may drive alone without having another driver in the vehicle.

G2 drivers who are not at least 19 years of age cannot have more than one passenger under 19 years of age in the vehicle between midnight and 5 a.m. during the first six months of receiving the G2 licence. After six months, they can have up to three passengers who are younger than 19 in the vehicle.

Passing a second road test after practicing with a G2 licence for at least 12 months or eight months for someone who took a driving course results in the person receiving a full G licence. G licence holders who are not at least 21 years of age must maintain a zero blood alcohol level.

Do not drink and drive

MADD of Canada found that impairment due to drugs or alcohol was a factor in 55 percent of fatal accidents involving drivers between 16 and 25 years of age. The zero blood alcohol level requirement of the graduated licensing program in Ontario means a young driver would have their licence taken away from them they violate it, but parents can help by reinforcing the dangerous effects of drugs and alcohol on driving.

Personal injury lawyers in Ontario

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond have years of experience helping victims of accidents to obtain compensation. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident call our 24/7 personal injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our websiteto speak to one of our team members. We have offices throughout Ontario to offer free consultations and case evaluations.

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