Survey Says: Teen Drivers’ Risky Behavior Creates Tendency for Involvement in Car Accidents in Winston-Salem

Our Statesville car accident attorneys know that teen drivers get a bad reputation because they often get distracted behind the wheel or don’t have the experienced decision making skills that most adult drivers have.

In fact, Automotive Discovery reports that when respondents in a nationwide survey were asked if teens were good drivers, the vast majority rated them as poor or average drivers. Poor or average drivers, no matter what their age, can often find themselves involved in car accidents in Winston-Salem, Asheville, and elsewhere in North Carolina.
Allstate Insurance released results from a recent poll indicating that 80 percent of drivers surveyed stated they felt teen drivers were risky behind the wheel. The poll also indicated that 60 percent of respondents were in support of stiffening graduated driver licensing programs statewide.

The nationwide poll was used as a measure for public reaction to the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act (STANDUP), which awaits a decision by Congress to tighten up teen driver licensing laws and place more restrictions on young drivers. We posted about the STANDUP Act last month on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, when we indicated that it was a provision of Mariah’s Law — named after a teen driver killed in Arkansas.

If passed, teens would be restricted on unsupervised nighttime hours driven, passengers in the vehicle, and using cell phones behind the wheel. In addition, age requirements would change from state to state on when a learner’s permit can be obtained and when each phase of the learning-to-drive process can take place.

According to the survey, 76 percent of those polled are in favor of changing the minimum age to receive a learner’s permit to age 16. Additionally, 69 percent support having a three-stage licensure process to be completed before a driving test can be taken to obtain a full license. Of those surveyed, more than 8 out of ten supported banning cell phones or texting while driving and 70 percent favored limiting teens of nighttime driving hours, especially if unsupervised by another adult driver. As you can imagine, more than 60 percent were in favor of not allowing non-family passengers in the car with drivers under age 18.

Bill Vainisi, deputy general counsel and senior vice president of Allstate commented that respondents’ attitudes clearly indicate that GDL programs can help save lives based on the results of the survey.

Moreover, it is clear that Americans think extending the process for a young driver just learning to drive can help introduce teen drivers to safe driving behavior and gain more experience behind the wheel before they graduate to driving alone without the supervision of an adult.

“What’s needed now is national leadership in the form of uniform standards for those GDL laws,” says Vainisi.

The car accident lawyers at the Lee Law Offices have years of experience advising victims and their families involved in teen car accidents in North and South Carolina. If you have been injured, call for a free no-obligation appointment to discuss your rights at 1-800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:

Poll Reveals Americans Support New Requirements for Teen Drivers, by Dottie Hannan Smith, Automotive Discovery.

Teens at High Risk of Greensboro Car Accidents in Summer, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, June 16, 2011.

Teen Safety Highlighted by Project Ignition: Aim is to Reduce Teen Car Accidents in Asheville, Elsewhere, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, August 23, 2011.

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