To help make roads safer, a more intense focus has been placed on teen driver safety in Nevada. Although the state has been ranked as one of the top 10 safest states for teen drivers, there is still room for improvement. It is hoped that the Nevada GDL program, the Parent’s Supervised Driving program, and the Nevada school attendance requirement will have a positive impact on the safety of the state’s roadways.
Each year, more than 11,000 teens seek instruction permits in Nevada, and thousands more obtain their driver’s licenses. When new drivers lack the experience and judgement to operate vehicles safely and react appropriately in dangerous situations, Nevada’s roadways become prime breeding grounds for car accidents. Car crashes are the leading cause of fatality for victims between 15 and 20 years old. In 2014, there were 39 fatalities caused by car accidents involving teen drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 19 of those deaths were drivers between 15 and 20 and 6 victims were passengers in the same age range.
Enhancing Teen Driver Safety in Nevada
A number of steps have been taken to increase teen driver safety.
- In 2015, Nevada implemented a law that requires teenagers under 18 to submit a certificate of attendance when applying for an instructional permit. The form proves the student has fulfilled the minimum attendance requirements set forth by the school district. Students who are truant may be denied their instructional permit or license, and those who already have their licenses can lose them to suspension.
- In 2016, Nevada joined forces with a major insurance company to provide parents and guardians with an effective plan to help teen drivers develop safer driving habits. Known as the Parent’s Supervised Driving Program, the plan encourages parental involvement and provides helpful driving tips for both teens and parents.
- The Nevada Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program is designed to introduce proper driver education and increase driving experience before teens are allowed to drive unsupervised on Nevada’s roadways.
Approximately one-fourth of teen drivers are involved in a motor vehicle accident or receive a traffic citation during their first year behind the wheel. Lack of experience, risk taking behaviors, distracted driving, driving while intoxicated and excessive teen passengers are the top causes of car accidents involving teen drivers.