Driving is a huge responsibility. After all, every time you get behind the wheel, you have your life and others in your hands. Because of this, it’s imperative that you know and follows all the rules of the road.
Because teens have limited experience driving, special laws and regulations have been put in place. It’s important for teens and their parents to know what these laws are and follow them to avoid fines, penalties, and accidents.
Keep in mind, that if someone is involved in an accident that isn’t their fault, they have the right to file a lawsuit and recover compensation. To help with your claim, get in touch with car accident attorneys at Burkett Law Firm. Learn more about teen driving laws in Texas here.
The Legal Age for Teens to Start Driving in Texas
Teens in Texas begin learning to drive through a multi-stage process. In the process of learning, teens will get a “learner license.” When a teen reaches the age of 15, they will be enrolled in a GDL or Graduated Driver Licensing program and can apply for their learner license in the state of Texas.
If a teen has had their learner license for a minimum of six months and they have completed the GDL program and passed the written exam, teens in Texas can receive a provisional license at the age of 16.
The Texas GDL Program
With the GDL program in Texas, teens are able to gain the driving experience necessary before they receive full driving privileges. The GDL involves three different steps:
- The learner stage includes supervised driving and ends with a driving test.
- The provisional state limits unsupervised driving in higher-risk situations.
- The full privilege stage is when the teen will receive a standard driver’s license.
According to information provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the GDL program in Texas was first started on January 1, 2002, to provide new, young drivers the opportunity to improve their driving abilities and skills as time passes in lower-risk situations.
Step One: The Learner’s License
Teens who are 18 years or under must have a valid learner license for a minimum of six months before they receive their provisional driver’s license.
The teen is required to pass a written test, a test that covers sign recognition, and a vision test to get their learner license. When the teen receives their learner license, they can only drive with someone 21 years old or more in the front seat.
Step Two: The Provisional License
During phase two, a teen’s driving privileges will be restricted while they are under the age of 18. Once they have held their learner’s permit or even a hardship license for at least six months, turned 16, or finished the class and real-life part of driver’s education, and completed the ITD (Impact Texas Drivers) requirement, they will be able to take a driving test and get their provisional license and move on to the second phase of the GDL program.
In the state of Texas, it is required that the courses taken include 32 hours of instruction in the classroom along with 30 hours of supervised driving time. Once a teen who is a minimum of 16 years old completes the required courses, they can take a driving test. Once all requirements are met, they can receive their provisional license.
While a provisional license is the second part of the process, there are still rules that must be followed. These rules include:
- The teen cannot drive with more than one passenger who is under 21 and who is not a family member.
- No driving between midnight and 5 AM unless it is necessary to drive to get to work, attend a school-related activity, or because of an emergency.
Anyone who is under 18 is not allowed to use wireless communication devices until they reach 18. The only exception is an emergency.
Burkett Law Firm Is Here to Help When an Accident Occurs
If your teen is involved in an accident with a careless or negligent driver in Texas, our car accident attorneys at Burkett Law Firm are here to help. We can review the facts of the case and ensure the negligent party is held liable. Contact us today for more information.