Colorado Teen Drivers
In addition to a lack of experience, it’s been proven that teens have an underdeveloped sense of judgment, resulting in a dramatically high accident rate. One in five 16-year old drivers will be involved in a crash. Between 1990 and 2005, over 1,300 Colorado teens were killed in collisions.
Here’s a brief overview of how teen drivers are policed in the state of Colorado.
Colorado Teen Driving Restrictions
The restrictions placed on teen drivers are based on the statistics for accident and injury rates. It’s not always intuitive, but these changes can make a big difference in reducing the probability of a crash.
New drivers are by definition inexperienced, and it takes some real skill to drive safely at night, for example. That’s why there’s a curfew for drivers under 18, from midnight to 5:00 am. It’s hard to navigate in the dark, fatigue is usually an issue, and many other drivers at that time are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The curfew can be waived in case of emergency or other special circumstances.
Studies have shown that a single extra passenger in a teen driver’s car raises the risk of an accident by 50%. That’s why the state mandates that new drivers carry no passengers under the age of 21 for the first year. Exceptions can be made in an emergency, and immediate family members don’t count.
Colorado Cell Phone Use & Texting While Driving Laws
There are now Colorado texting laws aimed specifically at teens, fully half of whom are likely to text while driving. This is a growing problem that alarms safe driving advocates: accident rates that had been going down steadily for the past 20 years are now ticking up again, with teens bearing the brunt of the consequences.
With these statistics in mind, the state of Colorado forbids drivers under 18 from using their cell phones while driving - in any capacity. Even hands-free or headset use is prohibited, to drive home the point that drivers should learn to watch the road.
Colorado Teen DUI Laws
Colorado DUI laws, already strong for adult drivers, are pretty much zero-tolerance for teens. Your license will automatically be suspended in the case of a teen driver DUI, and you’ll face a permanently blemished record that could have serious consequences for your future insurance rates. Above all, drug and alcohol use is the ultimate distraction - and distracted teen drivers are a danger to themselves and everyone else on the road.
So stay sober and learn the ropes. Driving takes practice, and growing up takes patience.