Burch George & Germany Launches Teen Driving Resource Center
Because of the risks young drivers face, the law firm of Burch George & Germany has created a Teen Driving Resource Center where young motorists and their parents can find valuable information about the driving experience.
As community leaders, we want to share relevant information to help young drivers safely navigate the early years of driving and make Oklahoma a safer place. One-fourth of 16-year-old motorists either crash or get a ticket in the first year of driving, according to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. It’s far easier to prevent traffic accidents than to make a family whole after a serious injury.
Our Teen Driving Resource Center contains information about the Oklahoma Graduated Driver’s License program, auto insurance requirements and traffic laws that pertain to young drivers, auto maintenance tips, things young drivers should remember and answers to frequently asked questions.
Obtaining an OK Driver License
The graduated driver licensing program enables young drivers to take on more responsibility a little at a time. Since the program’s inception, teen car crashes have been reduced 10 to 30 percent on average, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
At 15 ½ years old, Oklahoma residents are eligible for a learner permit by passing a driver education course, written exam and vision test. This allows them to drive with a licensed driver at least 21 years old.
At 16, a driver can earn an intermediate license, but the applicant must hold a learner permit for six months and sign an affidavit showing they have at least 50 hours of driving practice, including 10 hours of night driving.
At 18, a young driver can apply for an unrestricted license as long as he or she has had an intermediate license for six months and no moving violations on their record. A written test, vision test and driving test are required.
Oklahoma Traffic Laws
Certain traffic laws apply specifically to young drivers. For example, young drivers with intermediate licenses are not allowed to talk on a handheld cell phone while driving and there are restrictions on the number of passengers young drivers can carry and driving late at night.
Parents of teens who are starting to drive will want to know about those laws.
- Cell phone and texting prohibitions: Texting while driving will be illegal in Oklahoma as of November 2015, and it will be a primary offense in which law enforcements officers will be able to stop motorists for texting.
- Wear seat belts: All drivers and front-seat passengers must wear shoulder and lap belts installed at the factory and meeting federal safety guidelines.
- Child-restraint seats: In Oklahoma, children 6 and under must ride in an infant or child safety seat meeting federal standards, and children ages 6 to 12 must buckled up no matter where they are sitting.
Oklahoma Insurance Requirements
Before a driver gets behind the wheel, the law requires that they have insurance protection. The resource center contains information about minimum liability coverage required in Oklahoma.
Remember, liability coverage won’t pay for damage done to your vehicle in a crash that you cause or a hit-and-run accident. If you fail to make an insurance payment on time, your coverage could lapse immediately, meaning you won’t be covered in case of an accident.
In Case of a Crash
We sincerely hope that you are not involved in an accident. But our resource center provides a list of steps to take if you are:
- Do not leave the scene. Otherwise, you could be charged as a hit-and-run motorist.
- Check to see if anyone is hurt. If so, call an ambulance. But don’t try to move someone who is injured unless in a life-or-death situation such as a fire.
- Call 911 or your local law enforcement agency’s non-emergency number and stay on the line until the dispatcher has finished asking you questions.
- Be ready to provide information such as the location, type of crash, number of people involved and types of injuries suffered.
- Exchange information with all drivers involved in the accident, including name and address, driver license number, vehicle registration number and insurance information.
- Contact your parents and let them know what happened.
- Have your driver license, vehicle registration and insurance card ready to show the investigating law enforcement officer.
- Talk to the investigating officer about how to obtain a copy of the wreck report for insurance purposes.
- Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible to report the accident.
- Take photos at the scene of the crash to give your insurance agent a better idea of what happened and to have vital information in case a legal claim must be filed.
- If you need medical treatment, see a doctor as soon as possible. Adrenaline from being involved in a crash could stop you from feeling any injuries at the scene. But you may feel it later, and you’ll need a physician to document your injuries.
- Avoid posting information about your crash on social media.
Keeping your head and using common sense are the most important things to remember for young drivers. Obey traffic laws and drive defensively, and your odds of avoiding auto accidents will improve.
If you are injured in an accident caused by another driver in Oklahoma, contact a car accident attorney at Burch George & Germany, an Oklahoma City law firm with years of experience representing people involved in auto accidents. You’ll need someone to guide you through the legal system to make sure you obtain the award you deserve.
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