Studies have shown that the risk of 16- and 17-year-olds being in a fatal accident increase when there are three or more passengers in the car who are younger than 21.
Pennsylvania enacted the Graduated Driver Licensing Law in 1999. According to the Pennsylvania DOT, the law reduced the number of crashes and fatalities for 16- and 17-year-old drivers. The law put into effect three stages a young driver must complete to get his or her license.
- The learner’s permit
Before receiving the permit, a teen driver must complete a physical exam, vision screening and knowledge test. To advance to the next stage, the driver must have six months of book learning and driving practice. These six months must include 65 hours of adult-supervised driving, 10 hours of night driving and five hours of driving in poor weather.
- The junior license
After six months of a learner’s permit, a young driver may graduate to a junior license. With this license, the driver may drive unsupervised between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. Teens may drive outside these hours if accompanied by an adult. Work, charity and volunteer activities are exempt from the restrictions. Teen drivers may have only one unrelated passenger under the age of 18. After six months of driving with a junior license, the driver may have up to three unrelated passengers under 18.
- Unrestricted license
Six months after turning 17, a driver may receive a full license. The driver must have had the junior license for 12 months and not had a crash during that period. Also, the young driver must complete a certified driver education course. If the driver does not complete the course, he or she may not receive an unrestricted license until 18.