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Can a Teen Driving Curfew Stop Car Accidents–and Crime?

Published on Dec 20, 2017 at 12:30 pm in Car Accidents.

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Teenagers who can drive often have reckless driving behaviors. They’re most likely to drink and drive, or drive without wearing a seatbelt. About 6,000 teens die in car accidents each year, and teenagers are more likely to crash when other teenagers are in the car.

In an effort to reduce these numbers, teenagers in most states have a curfew until they can get their senior driver’s license. A study from UT Dallas found that teenage curfews reduce car accidents and teenage crimes.

The states that have restricted night time driving hours for teenagers found that arrests for teenagers in the 16-17 age range fell by 6%.

When teenagers can drive and don’t have a curfew, it’s an invitation to go out for all hours of the night. But they also have reduced driving experience. Without light outside and a car full of distractions, it’s easy for them to get into crashes. Teenagers are less likely to correctly estimate dangerous situations, more likely to speed, and more likely to give other cars less space on the road.

The curfew is meant to take away that chance for teenagers to be on the road and instead be safe in their homes.

What Did the Study Show?

The study looked at the arrest statistics for 16 and 17-year-olds in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report arrest data from 1995-2011.

  • Arrests of teenagers dropped about 4-6 percent.
  • States with the strictest laws dropped teenage arrests by 5-8 percent.
  • Arrests of 16-17-year-olds for manslaughter and murder dropped 11 percent.
  • Arrests for larceny dropped 5 percent.
  • Arrests for aggravated assault dropped 4 percent.

In addition to taking away the cover of night, another possible reason for the reduction in crime is taking away the influence of peers, so a group of teenagers can’t pressure someone to do something illegal.

The study also found that these laws helped the most when gas prices were lowest. Teenagers are more likely to drive when gas prices are low, and the restrictions kept more teenagers off the road at all hours of the night.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Missouri, you don’t have to go through this difficult time alone. You can stand up for your rights and fight for compensation for your damages, injuries, and lost wages. Call Thomas Law Offices today at (573) 607-1818 for a free consultation.

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Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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