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State of Kansas Passes New Teen Driver Safety Laws

Are you the parent of a teenage driver? If so, you probably feel quite nervous every time your teen gets behind the wheel.  It is for that very reason that some Kansas lawmakers have decided to make some changes in their state laws regarding teen drivers.

According to an article in The Wichita Eagle, tees account for about 6% of the drivers on the state’s roads.  Yet, they are involved in 20% of the state’s accidents.  Furthermore, 68 teenagers died in crashes in Kansas in 2007, with another 4,500 getting injured in auto accidents.  Faced with these statistics as well as testimony from experts stating that states with stricter teenage driver laws experience less accidents, the lawmakers didn’t have to put too much thought into whether or not they would pass the bill.  In fact, it passed through the Senate with an overwhelming 35-5 vote.

The new bill increases the age at which a teen can get an unrestricted license from 16 to 17.  In addition, drivers under the age of 17 ill not be allowed to drive late at night without having an adult in the vehicle. Furthermore, they cannot use their cell phones while driving.  The new law only allows 16-year-old drivers to drive between 5 am and 9 pm unless they are driving to school or to work and they can only have one passenger below the age of 18 in the car.

As a parent, however, you don’t have to depend upon the law to help keep your teenager safe.  You can take additional steps to make certain your teen stays as safe as possible.  First, give your teen plenty of opportunities to practice driving with you in the car.  The more practice your teen gets, the better he or she will get at driving.  If possible, enroll your teen in driver’s education classes in order to help him or her get even more experience and help with learning how to drive.  You should also be sure to consider the weather and other environmental factors when your teen is driving.  Try to avoid sending your teen out in poor weather conditions or at night until after he or she has become a more skilled driver. As he or she continues to prove his or her skills, extend driving privileges further and encourage the continued following of safety procedures.