Do you have a teen driver and want to know how the law applies to you as a parent? Or, maybe you were injured by a teenage driver and need to know what to do next. If so, knowing how the law applies to teens and their parents is important. Matlin Injury Law is here to help! Below, we will go over the basics of Colorado’s teen driving liability laws and more.

Teenage drivers present an array of unique risks. Many state legislators and agencies have recognized the riskiness of America’s teen driving class. For this reason, specific civil statutes have been passed in Colorado to hold parents and legal guardians of teenagers liable for certain situations. Parents could be held liable if a teen’s reckless or negligent driving causes an accident.

At Matlin Injury Law, we work hard to protect our clients legally if they have been wrongfully injured in an automobile accident in Colorado. If you want to learn more about teen driving liability laws following an accident, contact our law firm.

The Responsibility of Parents Caring for Teen Drivers

If you are the parent of a teen driver, you have probably gone through some exciting emotions as of late. At this stage in life, things can be exciting, nerve-racking, and more than a little bit stressful. Most insurance agencies, teens, and their parents will agree that teenagers can be risky on the road. 2016 Colorado Revised Statutes Title 42 covers a range of traffic laws.

As the parent of a teenager, it is your responsibility to teach your teen safe driving habits. It is your job to let them know the laws and limitations to follow. Teen driving rules can vary from state to state. In Colorado, parents can be held liable if their teenagers are involved in an accident.

Not only should you teach your teen to drive safely on the road, but you should also ensure that they are capable of operating a motor vehicle responsibly. Although the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles can determine whether to issue your teen a license, parents have the final say for minors in their custodial care. Teaching safe driving habits is important for the safety of your child and any other drivers who will share the road with them.

What do the laws in Colorado say about teens with a driving permit?

If you have a minor that is 14 ½ or 15 ½ years old, they may be eligible to schedule an appointment and obtain a driving instruction permit from the Colorado DMV after completing a driver’s education program. Teenagers in this category can only obtain a permit with the signature of a parent or guardian.

Teens that are 16 or 17 years old are not required to take driving courses before obtaining a permit. However, to get a permit, the teenager must pass a written Driving Knowledge Test. Teenagers in this category will also need the signature of a parent or guardian to obtain a driving permit. If your teen violates traffic laws while driving with a permit, that permit could be revoked.

If your teenager possesses a driving permit, they must be accompanied by a driving instructor, legal guardian, or parent, at all times. If a driving instructor, legal guardian, or parent, is unavailable, a licensed adult of 21 years or older may accompany them. However, that adult must be authorized by the parent or guardian to drive with a teen. The licensed adult must always be in the front seat wearing a seat belt.

With these laws in place, the liability of any accidents will potentially fall to the parents of the teenager. So, if your teenager with a permit causes an accident, you as the parent are responsible for damages. However, if an accident occurs that is determined not to be the fault of the teen at the wheel, you will not be held liable. This is why it is so important to know who your teenager is driving with and approve of all adults that are allowing them to practice on the road. If something goes wrong, you as a parent could wind up responsible.

What does the law say about teens with licenses in Colorado?

If you have a teenager that has just passed their driver’s license requirement test, there are a few rules that they must follow. Violating these rules can lead to that license being revoked. As a parent, you must teach your teen to drive responsibly between the ages of 16 and 18 years old.

What rules must teens follow for the first year after getting a license?

The first six months after your teen gets a driver’s license is critical. During this time, teens must practice driving alone and get comfortable with following traffic laws and regulations. For the first six months after obtaining their license, your teenager will not be permitted to drive with any passengers under the age of 21 in the vehicle.

The only time that a teen can drive with passengers under the age of 21 in the vehicle is if a parent or other licensed and approved adult driver is also in the vehicle. After the first six months, your teen can have one passenger that is under 21 in the vehicle unsupervised at a time. There is an exception for siblings and passengers with medical emergencies.

What other rules do teens under 18 need to follow?

According to Colorado’s traffic laws, every teen driver and all of their passengers must always wear seatbelts. Seat belt sharing is prohibited in Colorado. Teens under 18 are also prohibited from using a cellphone while driving. This includes talking on the phone with hands-free operation. If a teen driver is found to be talking on the phone while driving, they may be fined or even risk losing their license. Exceptions apply in emergencies.

For the first year, licensed teenage drivers may also need to abide by a curfew. This means that they cannot drive between midnight and 5 a.m. in Colorado. The only time exceptions are made include during emergencies, heading to or from school or work, and when accompanied by a parent, instructor, or legal guardian. There are exceptions for medical emergencies and emancipated minors. Teen curfew laws vary by city and county in Colorado. To properly follow any teenage curfew laws in Colorado, check with your local DMV.

What teen traffic laws govern drunk driving in Colorado?

Some Teen Driving Restriction Laws are very clear with no wiggle room. For instance, Colorado has a zero-tolerance policy for teen drunk driving. It is important to discuss the dangers of drunk driving with your teen before they get their license. Make certain that your teen knows never to ride with anyone driving under the influence. Consuming drugs or alcohol before getting behind the wheel is always illegal in Colorado. Even a trace of alcohol can result in a minor having their driver’s license revoked. Be sure that your teenager understands that even taking a sip of a beer could result in them losing their license in Colorado.

What is vicarious liability, and how does it apply to teen drivers in Colorado?

A teenager can only get a driver’s license through a co-signing process. At this time, a parent or guardian must legally agree to be held financially responsible if their teen driver causes an automobile accident. If a teen causes an accident at the time of licensing or later before turning 18, the parent can be held liable. Most states in America have similar laws. These laws are known as vicarious liability laws.

Hurt by a Teen Driver and Need a Lawyer? Call Us!

Recently, teenage driver fatalities were up 22% in Colorado. Have you been injured in an automobile accident in Colorado? If you have been in a car wreck caused by a teen driver, we may be able to assist you. At Matlin Injury Law, our team has the skill and experience you need to deal with the ramifications of an automobile accident caused by another individual.

While many teen accidents are minor, some result in serious injuries and even death. If you are the victim of an automobile accident, contact our personal injury law firm right away. We will review your case and help you determine how to proceed. Our skilled personal injury attorneys serve Parker, Colorado, and the surrounding areas. For a consultation, call or text 720-464-3600 or visit us online!

Are you the Victim of a Teen Auto Accident? Call Our Attorneys for Help Now at 720-464-3600!