GDL Requirements Reduce Risks of Car Accidents in Carolinas

There are five things that make a state’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing (GDL) program effective: permit age, licensing age, driving hour requirements, curfews and passenger restrictions.

Recently, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) took a look at each state and its GDL laws to determine just how effective they were, based on the state’s teen accident rates. The state of North Carolina didn’t do too badly in the recent study. But there are a few things that state lawmakers can change to help to beef up the system and reduce the risks of car accidents in Asheville and elsewhere.
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Officials with the IIHS recommend that teen drivers not be allowed to apply for their learner’s permit until they are 16-years-old.

Before receiving an unrestricted license, IIHS officials suggest that these young drivers complete 65 hours of supervised driver training with an experienced adult, and that they follow a strict set of guidelines regarding passengers and driving times.

Only once they’ve completed these stages and have a substantial amount of driving experience should they be permitted to apply for an unrestricted driver’s license. This is the most critical learning time for these young drivers, and we only get one shot to do it right. Strict GDL laws help to instill safe and responsible driving habits within our teens early on.

Our Asheville car accident lawyers understand that car accidents are the leading cause of death of teens nationwide. For this reason, it’s critical that we give young drivers the tools to keep them safe behind the wheel. The first few years of driving are some of the most important. This is the time when young drivers develop skills that are going to stick with them for a lifetime. Work alongside our state’s GDL program to make sure that your young driver gets the knowledge and experience needed to make smart and safe decisions behind the wheel.

If all states were to enact all five components of the toughest GDL laws, experts believe that there could be at least 500 lives saved, and more than 9,000 teen accidents prevented each year.

North Carolina’s GDL Laws:

-Driver education is required for permit applicants younger than 18.

-Drivers can get a learner’s permit at the age of 15.

-A driver can get their restricted license at the age of 16.

-Before getting a restricted license, a driver must complete 60 hours of supervised driving time. Six of these hours must be completed at night.

-With an intermediate license, a driver cannot drive between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

-With an intermediate license, a driver cannot drive with more than 1 passenger younger than 21; if a family member younger than 21 is already a passenger, no other passengers younger than 21 who are not family members are permitted.

“There’s room for improvement across the board, and states could see immediate reductions in fatal crashes,” says Anne McCartt of the IIHS.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident in Asheville, or in any of the nearby areas, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP. Call 1.800.533.6845. to schedule your free appointment today!

More Blog Entries:

Summer: Deadliest Time for Teen Car Accidents in Asheville and Elsewhere, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 9, 2012
Car Accidents in North Carolina Addressed by Chapel Hill Town Council, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, April 16, 2012

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