In South Carolina, teenagers can obtain a learner’s permit to drive at 15 years of age, can obtain a conditional driver’s license with restrictions by the time they are 16 years old, and qualify for a regular license by 17. Parents fret over this rite of passage and with good reason. Like all skills, driving gets better with practice. Although maturity and stability are traits that will help keep new drivers safe on the road, there is simply no substitute for experience. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that drivers between 16 and 19 years of age were at the highest risk for car crashes than those in all other age groups. The CDC also found that, in a recent year, 2,333 teenagers were fatally injured in car accidents.
Practice Makes Perfect
Both parents and teenagers may balk at the thought of practicing their driving. However, it is the single most important thing that can be done to assure safe driving. While driving classes are important, following up with practice is just as important. Parents should take every opportunity to allow their child to practice their driving skills with adult supervision.
It is best to pick ideal conditions to practice. A clear sunny day is ideal. Gradually add in night driving and driving in less than ideal conditions once skills improve. Pace the rate of increase in difficulty on how the skills are developing and always proceed with caution. It is very important for parents to model and reinforce safe driving habits. At a minimum, these habits include wearing a seat belt and never using a cell phone while driving.
Dispose of the Distractions
Distracted driving has been a major cause of accidents among inexperienced teenage drivers. Distractions such as using a cell phone to make calls or to send texts, looking at something on the side of the road, or eating or drinking while driving takes the eyes off the road. Such acts are responsible for a great deal of car accidents. In one study, researchers found that teenagers did not use a cell phone in the first six months of driving. Unfortunately, as they became somewhat more confident drivers, their cell phone usage and other distracted driving events increased.
Inexperienced driving combined with alcohol use can be fatal. Teenagers often drive after drinking for a variety of reasons, such as not realizing their level of impairment from alcohol or being afraid to call home for a ride if they drank without permission or in excess. A recent study by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute identified frequent driving errors leading to crashes by teenage drivers, including failing to scan the roadway, driving too fast, and being distracted by something either inside or outside the vehicle
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Victims of Accidents Involving Inexperienced Drivers
If you have been involved in a car accident with a teenage driver, the Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. can help you understand your options. Automobile insurance companies do not represent you directly, they represent the insurer and benefit from quick settlements that may not be in your best interests. Find out how you can be compensated for your losses by contacting us online or by calling 803-929-3600 or 866-881-8623 today to schedule a free consultation.
We proudly serve clients throughout South Carolina, including the areas of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the areas of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.