Gastonia personal injury lawyers know that effective graduated driver’s license (GDL) programs are gaining acceptance nationwide because it makes sense that the more experience a young driver can gain before being left alone to drive the safer they will be in making quick decisions or gaining confidence to handle difficult driving situations.
According to a recent article in USA Today, 2,000 lives could be saved throughout the country annually if each state were to adopt a comprehensive GDL program for young drivers which phases in driving privileges as they gain knowledge and experience. Some states already participate in strong GDL programs but others leave much to be desired when it comes to training young drivers.
We posted previously on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog that two former standouts from the U.S. Department of Transportation are pushing for federal legislation to pass the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act. Requiring states to strengthen and stand united on GDL programs can help minimize the number of teen car accidents in Hickory, Charlotte and nationwide.
USA Today reports that teen drivers between the ages of 16 to 19 are four times more likely to crash per mile driven than older adults according to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Congress is preparing to make a decision about a multi-year highway and transit spending bill in the weeks to come. GDL program and teen safety advocates are pushing Congress to incorporate into the bill to include $25 million a year in incentives for states to take an initiative and build a stronger GDL program for teens training to get their license.
Every state has some sort of GDL program in place that will reward teens for meeting certain requirements as they learn to drive and gain maturity behind the wheel. Only New York and Delaware contain all seven key elements that are considered to make a program effective. The seven key elements of a comprehensive GDL program include:
-Turning 16 before a learner’s permit is obtained.
-Gaining 6 months of driving experience before being permitted to drive unsupervised.
-During the learner’s stage, teens must have a minimum of 30 hours of supervised driving.
-Enter the intermediate licensing phase at a minimum age of 16 years and 6 months.
-No driving is permitted after 10:00 p.m. in the intermediate licensing phase.
-Non-family member passengers are limited to no more than one during the intermediate phase.
-Must be age 17 to obtain a full license.
According to the report, an estimated 83 lives could be saved each year in North Carolina if a stronger GDL program were to be implemented. In South Carolina, 65 lives could be saved annually.
As parents, there are so many fears associated with your child starting the learning to drive process but the best thing you can do for your teen is to spend numerous hours supervising them to be safe drivers and always exhibiting safe driving practices when they ride in the vehicle with you.
If you or a teenage driver in your family is seriously injured or killed in a car accident in North Carolina, contact the personal injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. We offer free initial consultations to victims who want to be advised of their rights so call 1-800-887-1965 to speak with a knowledgeable attorney today.
Study:Phased-in teen driving privileges could save 2,000, by Larry Copeland, USA Today.
More Blog Entries:
“OMG” Campaign Educates Teens About Potential for Distracted-Driving Car Accidents in Gastonia, Elsewhere, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, December 17, 2011.
Teenagers Can Win NFL Gear by Taking Pledge to Drive Alcohol-Free in Charlotte, Elsewhere, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, December 16, 2011.
North Carolina Teen Drivers Urged to Drive Safely During the Holidays to Avoid a Car Accident in Gastonia, Elsewhere, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, December 12, 2011.