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Can a Driver With a Learner’s Permit Be Liable for an Accident?

Published: Mar 20, 2023 in Auto Accident, Personal Injury
Edwardsville Car Crash Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm Provide Experienced Legal Counsel to Accident Survivors

A learner’s permit is issued to new drivers so that they can practice and gain experience before taking the test to receive a driver’s license. In most states, some kind of education course is required along with the permit, and new drivers are expected to know and obey all traffic laws.

If a driver with a learner’s permit causes an accident, they, or the person holding the insurance policy on the vehicle, might be held responsible. While the insurance policy should cover damages, assuming the student was listed on the policy or otherwise covered, the consequences for the accident may vary depending on the circumstances and how much damage was caused.

Learner’s Permit Laws in Illinois

Like many states, Illinois uses a graduated system to issue licenses. Each phase of licensing has its own requirements and penalties for failure to comply with them. At 15 years old, teenagers may acquire a permit for instruction with the consent of their parent or guardian. This permit is good for a minimum of nine months and up to two years. The following sanctions apply to a learner’s permit in Illinois:

  • During this time, the driver may not acquire any driving convictions.
  • For any traffic violations, the driver must appear in court with their parent or legal guardian and also attend traffic safety school. There is a limit of one court supervision for serious driving offenses.
  • Any moving violation conviction results in a nine-month waiting period before applying for a driver’s license.
  • Driving without a permit makes the driver ineligible to apply for a license until age 18.
  • Violation of the nighttime driving restriction may result in suspension of driving privileges.
  • No license will be issued to a person under age 18 who has unresolved traffic citations.

There is a good chance that a teenage driver with a learner’s permit who causes an accident may have to wait to get their license if they were violating the terms of the learner’s permit. Parents or legal guardians can expect their insurance premiums to rise if they were supervising a teenage driver that causes an accident.

Why Are Teen Drivers More at Risk for a Crash?

According to the CDC, teen drivers have the highest risk for accidents and fatal crashes. This is largely due to their inexperience combined with a number of other factors, including:

  • Distracted driving: Texting, checking social media, and peer passengers are top distractions for teens.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs: Teens have a higher risk of crashing than older drivers with the same blood alcohol content level.
  • Drowsy driving: Teens are often sleep deprived, which leads to poor judgement calls or even falling asleep behind the wheel.
  • Speeding: Teens are the age group most likely to speed and tailgate.

Edwardsville Car Crash Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm Provide Experienced Legal Counsel to Accident Survivors

If you have been injured in a car crash, our Edwardsville car crash lawyers at The Cates Law Firm can help. Call us at 618-277-3644 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients in St. Louis, Belleville, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Granite City, Waterloo, Chester, Carbondale, St. Clair County, Madison County, Monroe County, Randolph County, and other regions throughout Southern Illinois.