New Teen Driving Laws Needed in Maryland?
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Apr 30, 2009 in Car Accidents
A Captain from the Montgomery County Maryland Police Department tragically lost his teenage son due to a car accident on a country road in rural Maryland at night. Ryan Didone was 15 years old and was a passenger in a motor vehicle that was traveling in excess of the posted speed limit. It is reported that the car he was in was traveling 20 miles per hour over the speed limit. The teenage drive had just recently received his provisional driver's license. Ryan's father, Thomas Didone, is pushing members of Congress to pass the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act (STANDUP). This would make uniform graduated teen driver's license laws across the United States of America. 5,500 teenagers die in car crashes each year, and every single year numerous teens in the State of Maryland die in car accidents. One of the co-sponsors of the bill is U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen.
Parents need to be mindful that if they give their vehicle to an irresponsible teenager to drive, they can be held liable under a negligent entrustment theory of liability. If the parent knew or should have known that the teenager was irresponsible or a bad driver, then a judgment can be obtained against the Maryland parent even if the parent was not in the vehicle at the time of the crash. What is even scarier is that some Maryland insurance policies try to exclude liability coverage for negligent entrustment claims.