Getting a driver's license is one of the most exciting and important times in a young teenager's life. With a license comes freedom and responsibility. However, because many teen drivers are inexperienced, New York law requires them to comply with the terms of a learner's permit before becoming a licensed driver.
In this state, drivers under the age of 21 with a learner's permit are restricted in the number and ages of passengers that are allowed to be in the car, unless accompanied by an adult. Limiting the number of peers that are permitted to be in the car is intended to limit the distractions that a novice driver has to contend with. When a young driver breaks these rules, the result can be a devastating car accident that could have been prevented.
While teenagers are learning to drive, it is imperative that parents take responsibility to oversee their child's driving skills and behaviors. Ultimately, they can be held responsible for their teens actions should they break the rules and end up causing a serious car crash.
The parents of one New York teen were recently charged for their son's behavior which resulted in the death of four of his friends. According to reports, the young man only had his learner's permit when his parents gave him permission to take the car out without their supervision one evening. At 4 a.m., the man was reportedly high on marijuana and speeding when he crashed the car into the woods, killing the four friends who were passengers in the vehicle.
The driver may end up in jail for 25 years for his wildly negligent behavior, but his parents are also facing serious punishment. Because they allowed their son to violate several terms of his learner's permit, they were charged with unlicensed operation of a vehicle. They too face jail time.
The extent of negligence and irresponsibility that contributed to this tragic accident cannot be overstated. Teen drivers need to follow the rules and have access to positive examples of responsible driving. Without this, they may not be able to truly grasp the danger they pose to passengers and others on the road.
Source: Fox News, "Parents of teen driving car in crash that killed four friends face jail, fine," Nov. 18, 2012
- Victims of car accidents cause by negligent drivers have the right to pursue compensation for damages. For more information on this topic, please visit our page on New York car accidents.