The results of a recent California study of unlicensed drivers are sure to prove controversial in the debate about undocumented immigrants. Unlicensed drivers, many of whom are undocumented immigrants, are apparently three times more likely to cause a fatal accident than all licensed drivers.
This statistic suggests that allowing undocumented immigrants to receive driver's licenses could cut back on California's high rate of deadly car accidents. It could be the case that the relatively simple requirements for receiving a driver's license really do equip people to safely operate cars. If so, the controversial question becomes which is more important for California: safer roads or a tough immigration stance.
Los Angeles City Councilman Ed Reyes told the LA Times, "No matter who is behind the wheel, they need to be prepared and understand the rules of the road. That's a significant issue when you live in a city that has a culture driven by cars." Critics argue that allowing undocumented immigrants to receive driver's licenses would reward illegal immigration and set a bad precedent.
Unlicensed drivers are not only more likely to cause fatal accidents. Many unlicensed drivers flee the scene of car crashes because they also lack auto insurance. This leaves injured victims in the difficult position of trying to cover many medical bills while hoping that authorities will be able to locate the responsible driver.
In cases like this, a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can help develop an effective strategy to recover the compensation to which these victims are entitled.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "DMV study bolsters driver's license push for illegal immigrants," Ben Poston, Jan. 15, 2013