Inexperience vs. Maturity

Inexperience vs. immaturity – Inexperience can lead to improper braking, over-reacting, over-steering, over-compensating in a skid situation and more. In time, an experienced driver will know how to drive accordingly to weather and road conditions, such as fog, rain, and snow. Teens are especially vulnerable to distractions in the vehicle, such as cell phone usage, music, smoking, and other passengers in the car. This has more to do with immaturity and having unrealistic expectations about risk.

Therefore, Virginia law allows a young driver with a provisional license to have no more than ONE non-family passenger under the age of 21 in the car for the first year. But even one passenger is a distraction, and the data indicates a direct correlation between the number of passengers and crash probability. In fact, beginning drivers must be at least 17 years and 3 months old to have more than one passenger. After the first year of driving, however, the young driver may have THREE non-family passengers less than 21-years-of age under the following circumstances:

  • when driving to and from an activity that is supervised by an adult and is sponsored by a school or by a civic, religious, or public organization;
  • when a licensed driver is occupying the seat beside the driver;
  • and in cases of an emergency.
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