A new law requiring teenage drivers in North Carolina to track their driving hours is part of an effort to decrease car accidents in Charlotte and throughout the rest of the state.
The basic concept is that having teens log their weekly hours spent behind the wheel will ensure they are getting enough experience on the road to prevent serious crashes.
The legislation was passed last summer by the state’s General Assembly, and took effect on Jan. 1. New drivers under the age of 18 who have a learner’s permit must log 60 driving hours with the supervision of a parent or other experienced driver. At least 10 of those hours have to be at night.
Our North Carolina car accident lawyers believe this is an important step for young drivers, who can obtain a learner’s permit as soon as they turn 15.
The new law prohibits teens from driving more than 10 hours a week, and they must turn in their verified driving log to the state’s division of motor vehicles when they go to apply for a provisional driver’s license, which places further restrictions on teen driving. With the provisional license, teens have to log 12 more driving hours, with six of those being at night.
The importance of this law is underscored by recent statistics released from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Numerous studies indicate teen drivers are far more likely than older drivers to not fully grasp the risks they take in getting behind the wheel. In fact, they are four times more likely to be involved in a crash.
Teenage drivers are also far more likely to speed and not allow enough distance between their vehicle and the one ahead of them.
While males and females are both prone to distractions, male drivers and passengers are twice as likely as females to be killed in a car crash. They are 12.5 times more likely not to be wearing a seat belt, and with passengers in the car, the risk was amplified even more.
Teens were most at risk during their first year behind the wheel.
While statistics from last year weren’t available, the North Carolina Department of Transportation reveals that in 2009, drivers who were 15 and younger were responsible for 693 accidents, which resulted in 266 serious injuries and four deaths. The following year, teen drivers accounted for 669 crashes, causing 253 injuries and four fatalities.
The details of the new North Carolina law were detailed in a recent article by the More road rules, By: JOHN HINTON | Winston-Salem Journal
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