This item from Yahoo News supports the Virginia policy of a graduated drivers license. You can get your permit at age 15 ½. You can get your license once you have had your permit nine months and completed the required behind the wheel training. For the first year of driving you cannot have more than one non-family passenger under the age of 18 in the car with you. For the first year of driving you cannot be driving after midnight. I might even be tempted to make the rules more stringent after reading these statistics.
But teens reported a host of other in-car distractions that researchers say help make traffic accidents the No. 1 killer of U.S. teens, with a fatality rate four times higher than drivers aged 25-69, based on miles driven. About 5,600 teens died in traffic accidents in 2005, and about 7,500 were driving cars involved in fatal accidents.
Researchers found that one teenage passenger with a teen driver doubles the risk of a fatal crash, while the risk is five times higher when two or more teens ride along. Most states have laws restricting passengers when teens drive, but 15 states do not.
Nearly 90 percent of teens reported seeing peers drive while talking on cell phones and more than half spotted drivers using hand-held games, listening devices or sending text messages.
About 75 percent said they see teens driving while tired or struggling with powerful emotions, such as worries about grades or relationships. More than nine of 10 teens also reported seeing teen drivers speeding and half said they sometimes drive at least 10 mph over posted speed limits themselves.
Keep those teen drivers in your prayers!