Especially in Indiana, where the sky meets the horizon and there’s corn for miles, little feels more freeing than finally getting your driver’s license. However, studies by the Indiana BMV show that teen drivers are at the highest risk for property damage and personal injury on the road. Fortunately, there’s a lot of attention on teen drivers in Indiana. Many laws have been passed to protect teenage drivers in the state and since 2015, teen accidents have decreased by over 30%. These rules exist to keep all drivers safe, both new and seasoned, so it’s important to understand them so you can know what to expect on the road.
Indiana Rules for Teen Drivers
Teenagers in Indiana are allowed to begin driver’s education at age 15 to ensure that they’ll have 15 months in the car with a licensed driver before going out alone. This means that Indiana teens are on the road much sooner than their peers in other states. Driver’s education helps teenagers understand how vehicles operate, what road signs mean, and how to drive defensively. Ultimately, it means they’re prepared to act with reasonable care, or to do everything an educated driver would do. Aside from knowing all of these driving specifics, teens under 18 in Indiana must be aware of designated driving times.
- Teens are not allowed on the roads between 1 and 5 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The only exceptions are in the case of work or a religious event.
- Teenagers cannot drive before 5 a.m. on weekdays or after 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.
Rules for teen drivers are put in place to help keep less experienced drivers off the road at hours when accidents are more likely to happen.
Top 6 Causes of Teen Car Accidents in Indiana
When teens practice preparedness for high-risk driving conditions, they can protect themselves and others from danger on the road.
- Distracted driving: The prevalence of cellphones means teens likely have them with them while driving, increasing likelihood of distracted driving.
- Driving at high speeds: Crash risk, severity, and force all increase at higher speeds.
- Passengers: Because driving is new to teenagers, they need to pay close attention. Unfortunately, the more passengers in the car, the more difficult that becomes. In fact, for the first 180 days a new teen driver has their license, the only passengers allowed in the car are adults over the age of 25, or a spouse over the age of 21.
- Safety belts: Teen drivers need to know that everyone in their vehicle must wear a safety belt. If not, the driver will be held responsible for anyone under the age of 18 without a safety belt on.
- Nighttime Driving: For teens, the most severe crashes occur at night, especially at night on weekends. One way to prevent accidents is getting teens plenty of exposure to driving at night with a licensed driver present.
- Driving under the influence: Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol is widely known to be illegal. However, teenagers may experiment and a quarter of all teenage driving accidents occur because of drunk driving.
Indiana’s teenage driving laws try to ensure that young drivers get all the experience they need to be safe. Share this info with the new Indiana drivers you know!