Fish Tank

Friday, March 23, 2012

Zoom, Zoom

child driver driving recklessI don't know how it is but my daughter is only 2 and already she loves to be in the drivers' seat.  Abosolutely LOVES it!  As soon as she's free of the confines of her car seat, she'll jump up front and turn the wheel, twist the knobs, push all the buttons, honk the horn, flash the blinker, crank up the radio till our ears pop and is laughing the whole time.  I can see my insurance going up as we speak. 

What concerns me, though, is not so much the insurance cost(s) of adding a teenager to my insurance policy but it's whether she'll learn what not to do behind a wheel.  The other day I was reading about a bunch of kids who were out racing and crashed and, well...no one won that race.  Another article detailed how a teen alcoholic had wrapped herself (and her three fellow teenaged passengers) around a tree.  In fact, daily I read news articles that read like an obituary page.  Scary stuff, to be sure.

Maybe you have a child who is preparing to venture forth into the world of learner's permits and liability insurance.  Might I suggest that before you allow your pride and joy to get behind the wheel, you at least get smart about the laws of your state/country as they relate to underage drinking or how liable you can be if, say, you're child happens to get in an accident and the other driver is injured or (heaven forbid) killed.  A resource dedicated to preserving life that has been around for not a short while is the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) website.  This site is important if only for the fact that many courts around the country have modeled their drunk driving sentencing criteria around MADD sanctioned programs.  Those living in the state of California can view the California Vehicle Code at www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html.  For persons not living in California, you can view all other state codes through a very useful resource located at Findlaw.com.

A great print (as in book) resource dealing with automobile law (found at most law libraries) is Blashfield's Automobile Law and Practice (West).  The best part of this resource is that while it covers laws from all jurisdictions, it is complete enough to give a good overview of the liability laws governing vehicles powered with combustible engines.


So, to recap - if you or your loved ones are going to drive (and they will, eventually), know what you're up against.  Go to your local law library and read up on automobile liability, teach your children what not to do behind the wheel, and, if all else fails, strap in and hang on for the ride of your life!

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