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Stricter GDL Laws Reduce Risk of Teen Car Accidents in North Carolina

A new law is geared toward reducing the risk of teen car accidents in Winston-Salem and elsewhere in North Carolina, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. These laws were used to shore up the current graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) program in the state. Parents will now be required to be even more involved in their teen’s driving education.Teenage drivers will also be required to complete supervised driving requirements with a licensed driver over the age of 21. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), teenage drivers with a learner’s permit need to complete 60 hours of supervising driving. Within these 60 hours, 10 of the hours need to be at night. This law was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly back in June.

Our Winston-Salem teen car accident attorneys understand the risk that teenagers face on our roadways. Their inexperience at the wheel significantly increases their risk for accidents. However, with parental involvement and strict graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) programs, the community can work together to reduce these risks.

The initial law passed by the North Carolina General Assembly was approved in June. The new law that took effect Jan. 1 allows teens to get their learner’s permit once they turn 15. Still, teens have some of the highest risks for car accidents, which is why it’s important to teach them well and early.

Under the new law, teenagers have to log at least 10 hours a week toward their driving time. When he or she is ready to apply for a limited provisional driver’s license, teen is required to submit the signed driver’s log to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.

After that’s done, a teen driver will have to complete 12 more hours of driving with six of those hours being completed at night.

“As a parent, I’d rather be with him than (have him with) a friend who is 18,” said a North Carolina father about his teen driver.

A driver’s education teacher, Charlie Jarman, says that he thinks the law is a good idea. He acknowledges it will be tough on parents, but it’s a necessary step to making our teens better drivers.

According to North Carolina accident statistics, there were nearly 700 drivers under the age of 16 who were involved in car accidents in the state. Of these, more than 265 died. This illustrates a roughly 4 percent decrease as teen driving laws strengthen.

According to State Senator Peter Brunstetter, R-Forsyth, officials with the DMV recommended that officials approve this law last year. Luckily, that recommendation has been successfully received and parents are now required to be more involved in their teen’s driving education and ultimately on the road to safer driving habits.

If you or the young driver in your life has been injured or killed in a car accident in North Carolina or South Carolina, contact the injury attorneys at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP. Call 1.800.533.6845. No Attorney Fees Until You’ve Been Paid.

Additional Resources:

More road rules, by John Hinton, Winston-Salem Journal
More Blog Entries:

Officials Still Pushing for Nationwide Ban to Reduce Risks of Car Accidents in North Carolina and Elsewhere, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, January 25, 2012

USDOT Hopes “OMG” Campaign Will Reduce Teen Car Accidents in North and South Carolina, Nation, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 20, 2011

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