Car accidents can wreak havoc in the lives of the people that are involved in them. Car crashes can cause a number of injuries including head trauma, spinal injuries and broken bones. Car collisions cause victims to rack up large medical bills, put people out of work for long periods of time and can even permanently disable or kill someone. Thus, victims of car crashes and the families of those who die in them are entitled to seek monetary damages from the person who has driven negligently or carelessly. Many states require licensed drivers to carry insurance.

Teenagers are particularly at risk of hurting themselves and others in car crashes because they lack driving experience. Other factors also include texting and talking on cell phones while driving, listening to loud music and not fully understanding the rules of the road. The Montana Office of Public Instruction estimates that sixteen-year-olds alone have triple the risk of dying in a car accident.

Montana recently passed a graduated driver license law that requires teenagers under the age of 18 to complete three stages of driving before earning the full privilege to drive a car.

Stage 1 is six months long and requires fifty hours of supervised driving practice with a parent or guardian.

Stage 2 sets time constraints on when teenagers can drive at night.

Stage 3 is the full grant of driving privileges, which happens after one year spent in Stages 1 and 2, or when the teen turns 18.

Laws like Montana’s can save lives and save money. According to the National Safety Council, if all 50 states passed laws like Montana’s, over 2,000 lives and $13 billion would be saved every year.


Montana Office of Public Instruction, “Driver Education: Montana Graduated Driver License Law,” Aug. 11, 2011

U.S. News, “Study: Tougher teen driving laws would save lives, money,” M. Alex Johnson, Dec. 6, 2011

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “Nationwide Review of Graduated Driver Licensing,” Susan Baker, Feb. 2007