16 and 17 year old drivers are three times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash as drivers 18 and older. Fatal teen crashes increased by more than 10 percent from 2015 to 2016. During the summer is the most dangerous time for teen drivers. Driving is a big responsibility and a big step in a lot of teens' lives. In order to make sure that transition from rider to driver is a smooth one, Virginia has some laws in place that teen drivers should be aware of to stay safe on the road this summer.
1. Passenger Restrictions
- If a driver is under age 18, that driver may carry only one passenger under age 21, unless accompanied by a licensed parent, or other adult acting in place of a parent, in the front passenger seat.
- After a driver has held a driver's license for one year, that driver may carry up to three passengers under age 21 when:
- They are traveling to and from a school-sponsored activity;
- A licensed driver 21 or older is in the front passenger seat; or
- In case of emergency.
- Passenger restrictions do not apply to family members.
- Violation of the passenger restriction can result in a suspension of the your driver's license.
2. Curfew Restrictions
- If a driver is under age 18, driving is prohibited between midnight and 4 A.M. except during the following conditions:
- to or from work;
- to or from an activity supervised by an adult and sponsored by a school or by civic, religious, or public organization;
- with a parent or guardian who is occupying the front seat;
- in case of emergency.
- Violations of the curfew can result in a suspension of your driver's license.
3. Cell Phone Restrictions
- Any driver under 18 is not permitted to use a cell phone while driving, regardless of whether the device is handheld or not.
- Teen drivers can only use a cell phone for a driver emergency and the vehicle must be lawfully parked or stopped.
4. Texting Restrictions
- All drivers are not permitted to text while driving.
- It is a primary offense, meaning that an officer can pull you over if that officer suspects that you are texting and driving.
If you have any questions or are in the unfortunate position that you have an upcoming court date dealing with one of these issues please contact my office at (757) 898-4805 and I would be happy to help.