Stronger Restrictions on Nighttime Driving May Lower Teen Accident Risks

Some of the biggest risks for California bicyclists involve teen drivers. This is a high-risk category of motorists, and teenagers because of their lower experience, susceptibility to peer pressure, and delusions of invincibility, are more likely to cause bicycle accidents.

The risk of a bicycle accident involving a teen motorist is much higher, when a bicyclist is out at night. New research indicates that when there are stronger restrictions on nighttime driving for teen drivers, the risks of a teen driver accident drop.

The study was based in Massachusetts, and found that when stronger rules for nighttime driving by teen drivers were enacted, there was a drop in serious accident rates. In Massachusetts, in 2007, new regulations imposed severe penalties for unsupervised nighttime driving for teenage drivers between ages 16 and 17. When the researchers analyzed the data, they found that accident rates involving teenage drivers of this age group actually fell by 40% after the new rules were enacted. Overall, they found that there was a 19% drop in all types of accidents involving drivers between the ages of 16 and 17. Overall, these drivers were involved in approximately 29% lower nighttime accidents after the new rules came into effect.

As a bicyclist, you can reduce your risks of an accident at night, by simply avoiding riding after dark. If you have to ride at night, take precautions. You are less visible at night, so stick reflective tape on your clothes, helmet and bicycle to make sure that you are visible to motorists. Avoid riding at night wearing all-black clothing, and without bothering to make yourself visible. Make no mistake-your risk of being involved in an accident is much higher when you’re riding at night. If you were involved in an accident, consult a California bicycle accident lawyer for help filing a claim.

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