Security and Safety

Teen Drivers: Fact or Fiction?

By Kolby Paxton 5.24.17

Your teenager is old enough to drive — congratulations! Before you roll out the streamers and party hats, it’s important to understand the true rules of the road rather than common myths about teenage driving regulations.  

Fact or fiction: The law requires 10,000 hours behind the wheel to get a driver’s license.

Fiction: Author Malcolm Gladwell may recommend 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert at any craft, but Texas does not have the same sort of requirement for its drivers. Rather, new drivers must log 30 hours — including 10 at night — in order to graduate from learner’s permit to provisional driver’s license.

Fact or fiction: Drivers under the age of 18 aren’t allowed to drive after midnight.  

Fact — sort of: You’ve heard the adage, “Nothing good happens after midnight,” right? Well, in the Lone Star State, teen-driving laws might have been designed with this phrase in mind. Drivers under the age of 18 are not permitted to drive without an adult from midnight until 5 a.m., unless they obtain a provisional license. The provisional addendum allows teens to drive to and from work, school-authorized activities, and as a result of medical emergencies — regardless of the hour.

Fact or fiction: There are passenger age restrictions. 

Fact: Drivers with a provisional license (under the age of 18) cannot drive with more than one person under the age of 21 who is not an immediate family member. 

Fact or fiction: If your teen driver is caught using tobacco underage, they can lose their license. 

Fact: Texan teens convicted of possession, purchase, consumption, or receipt of cigarettes or tobacco products before they’re of age will be required to attend Tobacco Awareness classes approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Should they fail to do so within 90 days, teens run the risk of having their license suspended (depending on the county).

Fact or fiction: There’s zero tolerance for driving under the influence when underage. 

Fact: Minimum blood-alcohol levels do not apply to drivers under the age of 21 in the state of Texas. Minors may not attempt to purchase — let alone consume — any alcoholic beverages. If your teen has consumed any detectable amount of alcohol and gets pulled over, it’s considered a criminal offense.

While you can’t wrap your teen driver in Bubble Wrap to keep them safe behind the wheel, you can protect them with premier auto coverage from Texas Farm Bureau Insurance. Add your 16-year-old son or daughter to your auto insurance policy quickly and painlessly by calling your Agent today. 

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2017 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance