Teen Motor Vehicle Safety

Car crashes are the #1 cause of death among teenagers—Drive Smart is working to change that.

Teen Motor Vehicle is committed to reducing the number of young drivers crashing, suffering serious injuries, and dying in the foothills communities where young drivers face exceptional driving challenges.

Drive Smart is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charitable organization dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries resulting from teen related auto crashes by promoting safe driving through greater awareness, education and advocacy to teens and their parents.

The Teen Motor Vehicle approach is to educate teens about smart decisions and safe driving and provide parents with the tools they need to set the standards with their teenage drivers.  Our involvement with organizations such as Alive at 25 ( www.alive-at-25.org ), SADD, National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), and the National Safety Council on Teen Driving, high school liaisons work with students to raise awareness among their peers about the need to make important behavioral decisions when behind the wheel of a car.  In working with these organizations, we focus on distracted driving, driving while impaired, the importance of the graduated driver license, and the significance of parents playing an active part in their child’s driver education.  Drive Smart sponsors events, activities and opportunities for learning with the ultimate goal of reducing crash related tragedies.

What the Graduated Drivers Licensing laws are: Colorado’s GDL law has three stages: Instruction Permit, Restricted License, Full Privilege License.

  • Teens with Instruction Permits may only drive under the supervision of a parent or guardian. If they’re under 18, they may not drive with anyone except their driving instructor, parent or guardian. It is illegal for a teen with an instruction permit to use a cell phone while driving.
  • When teens receive their Restricted License—the only license they may receive until they turn 18—they are not allowed passengers younger than 21 for the first six months and then only one up to the first year. All passengers with drivers under 18 must wear seatbelts. This is a primary law, meaning your teen can be pulled over and ticketed for not wearing a seat belt. Only one passenger may ride in the front seat. No driving between midnight and 5 a.m. until a teen has had a driver’s license for at least one year, unless accompanied by an instructor, parent or legal guardian.
  • A Full Privilege License is when your teen turns 18 and there are no longer restrictions.Additional restrictions and consequences can be found on www.coteendriver.com.

Your Role as a parent: As a parent, you are the primary source of GDL information for your teen driver. You help not only educate your teen, but enforce the laws as well. As one of the primary enforcers of the GDL, you should emphasize to your teen that you’re supporting their freedom to drive.

Tips for enforcing:

  • Verbally remind your teen of Colorado’s restrictions before he or she drives or leaves with friends.
  • Inquire about the where, when and who of the driving situation before your teen leaves the house.
  • Create a contract with your teen about driving rules, then set consequences for breaking them.

To find out more information on GDL laws, risks for teen drivers, tips for enforcement and a copy of a “Parent/Teen Driving Agreement,” visit www.coteendriver.com.

From Evergreen High graduate beginning freshman year at college:
…. I just wanted to tell you that being at college with all these different people gives me perspective on how I grew up, and how privileged I was. People here talk about how in their towns, it was the norm to drink and drive, and that in their high school someone would die every couple months due to reckless driving. I just wanted you to know this, because I did not feel that this was normal at all in Evergreen. This was the opposite of them! We were taught that drinking and driving is so wrong, by Drive Smart. Throughout high school I do not know one person at my school who was killed due to driving. People out here think that is so weird, but I wanted you to know that you guys as an organization are doing a great job! Thank you! – S.W.