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Have a Teenage Driver? Here’s What You Need to Know Before They Get Behind the Wheel

If you’ve got a teenager in the house ready to start driving, you may feel a little overwhelmed. You may be asking yourself, “What are Oregon’s teenage driving rules?” and “What if my teen driver caused an accident?” While there may be a learning curve for teenagers who are starting to drive, safely guiding your teenager through this phase of life is entirely doable. Let’s talk about all the rules you’ll need to know and how you can help keep your teenager safe on the road. 

Oregon Teenage Driving Rules 

To many teenagers, getting a license is one of the most important milestones of their high school years. Many look forward to driving independently on the road. Being able to drive themselves to activities, school, and a job are three main reasons teenagers need a driver’s license. 

If your teenager is eager to start driving, it’s essential to learn a few basic Oregon teenage driving rules before they get behind the wheel. Encouraging your teenager to follow every driving rule is the first step to learning how to drive and being safe on the road. Here are some basic rules to know before your teen gets behind the wheel.

How many driving hours does your teen need to get a driver’s license?

According to the Oregon DMV teenage driving laws, a 16 or 17-year-old must have had an instruction permit for six months and completed 100 hours of supervised driving experience. If your teen completes and passes an approved driver’s ed course, they only need 50 hours of driving experience. 

Can a teen drive alone in Oregon?

When you get a provisional driver’s license, you must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. Oregon DMV teenage driving laws state that this applies until the learner is 18 years old or has had the provisional license for a year, whichever comes first. 

Can a teenage driver have passengers?

Oregon driver’s license requirements state that a teenage driver can have passengers in the car. However, there are limitations. For the first six months of having a provisional driver’s license, the teen can have no passengers under 20 years of age unless they are a member of the driver’s immediate family. For the second six months of having the provisional driver’s license, the teenager cannot have more than three passengers under 20 years of age unless they are a member of the driver’s immediate family. 

Does an Oregon teen driver need insurance?

Yes, an Oregon teen driver is required to have insurance. Oregon law requires that all drivers carry at least liability, uninsured motorist insurance coverage, and personal injury protection. Teen drivers must carry this proof of this insurance at all times. 

 Do you need a learner’s permit over age 18 in Oregon?

While driver training is encouraged, you are not required to take driver’s training nor get a provisional permit if you are 18 years old or older.  You merely need to pass the knowledge and driving tests, show proof of residency and proof of insurance.  

How to Encourage Your Teenager to Drive Safely

A teenage girl sitting behind the steering wheel of a car and listening to her mothers instructions as she drives.A teenager behind the wheel is enough to make many parents nervous, and for a good reason. Unfortunately, car crashes remain a leading cause of death for young adults. In fact, teenage drivers are responsible for more property damage when compared with other age groups. Worrying about teenage drivers is a natural response. This leaves many parents wondering, how can I encourage my teenager to drive safely? 

It’s All About Being a Good Example

Regardless of how much time and experience your teen has behind the wheel, your teen is most likely to mirror the driving habits they see from you and other adults who drive them around frequently. Because of this, one of the most important things you can do to encourage your teen to drive safely is by being a safe example on the road. 

Speeding, cutting people off, texting at the wheel, and failing to obey road signs are all poor driving habits that your teenager is likely to think they can get away with, as well. When driving with your teenager, remain cool-headed and avoid all distractions. When teaching your child how to drive safely, it’s critical to be a good example for them.

What if my teen driver caused a car accident?

Sadly, accidents can still happen as much as parents and teens prepare to drive behind the wheel. To protect your child and yourself, it’s best to educate your child as much as possible about what to do if they get in a crash.

What should your teen do in the event of an accident?

First, encourage your child to stay in the vehicle. Teach them to assess injuries and ensure it is safe to exit the vehicle, if possible. If it is not safe to exit the car, drive to a safe spot, like a shoulder in the road. 

The teenager should then call 911. Even if any injuries aren’t suspected, calling 911 speeds up the process of getting police and ambulances to the scene.

Parent or Guardian Liability for a Teen Driver’s Car Accident

In addition to dealing with insurance companies and possible medical bills, teen parents can be held liable for damages resulting from a teen’s car accident. A parent being held responsible can depend on the circumstances of the crash and the state in which it occurred. Generally speaking, parental liability can happen under certain situations, such as negligent entrustment, driving privilege application liability, and vicarious liability for a child’s actions. 

For Any Car Accident Representation in Oregon, Trust Swanson Lathen Prestwich 

When it comes to teens learning how to drive, following all the rules and being a good driving example are everything. However, if an accident happens, you may need an attorney. Since 1958, Swanson Lathen Prestwich has helped car accident victims all over Oregon. We understand that experiencing a car accident can be a stressful time, and we are here to make it easier for you and your teen. 

Our team of attorneys can meet with you in any way possible. We can meet in person, or via email, FaceTime, and text to make things more convenient for you. We’re the compassionate, approachable car accident attorneys in Oregon that you can trust. Contact us for a free legal consultation today.