MyrtleBeachOnline.com reports the three teens – a middle school student who was 14 and two 15-year-old high school students – died of injuries incurred in the Horry County wreck. The families of the girls requested their identities be withheld. Although authorities haven’t disclosed the identities of the girls or stipulated who was driving, none of the three girls in the vehicle at the time of the collision would have been legally allowed to operate a motor vehicle absent a licensed parent or guardian.
The graduated driver’s license statute in South Carolina does allow those who are 15 to obtain a beginner’s permit. Presuming they are at least 15 years and six months old, and they have a permit for six months, they would be eligible to get a conditional license. But even then, novice drivers have to be with a legal guardian or parent if they are driving between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. This car accident occurred shortly after 3 a.m.
In North Carolina, driver’s education enrollment can begin at 14 and a half, but one still can’t get a learner’s permit until one reaches the age of 15. New drivers are eligible for a limited provisional license when they are 16, a full provisional license six months after getting a limited provisional license, and a full, regular driver’s license when they reach the age of 18.
A teen driver with a learner’s permit can only drive while supervised with a parent, guardian, or adult approved by a parent or guardian who has had a driver’s license for at least five years and is seated in the front passenger seat. Even then, drivers can only operate a vehicle between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. for the first six months, and all passengers must be wearing their seat belts. New drivers are also forbidden from using a cell phone or related technology unless there is an emergency, and the driver is calling 911, a hospital or doctor, or a parent or guardian.
In this case, local media reported the driver of the pickup truck crossed over the center line on Bay Road in Myrtle Beach. The girl then veered off to the left of the road into a ditch before striking a tree. The truck’s cab became separated from the rest of the vehicle. The driver and passenger were trapped in the truck and died at the scene. The second passenger, who was thrown from the truck, was also killed.
So jarring was the crash that it jolted the neighbors awake in the middle of the night.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that in 2014, there were 2,270 teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 killed and another 222,000 treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries suffered in car accidents. That wouldn’t even account for the youths in this scenario, who were 14 and 15. However, we do know that while young people between the ages of 15 and 19 represent just 7 percent of the population, they account for 11 percent of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries.
Research has shown that teens are more likely than older, more experienced drivers to underestimate or not recognize hazardous situations on the road, and they are also more likely to make critical mistakes that lead to serious crashes.
Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
Three teenage girls dead after Bay Road crash, Dec. 22, 2016, By Elizabeth Townsend and Chloe Johnson, MyrtleBeachOnline.com
More Blog Entries:
Asheville Pedestrian Accident Kills Two Children, Jan. 6, 2017, Rock Hill Car Accident Lawyer Blog