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What Is North Carolina Doing to Prevent Deadly Wrecks Involving Teen Drivers?

Dan Brian   |  June 7, 2017   |  

Photo of a husband and wife at a funeralEarlier this year, WTVD-TV reported on two car wrecks in Person County that happened back-to-back. One of the car crashes claimed the life of an 18-year-old driver and the other left a 40-year-old man severely injured. Per the WTVD-TV report, the crash involving the 18-year-old driver happened on Allen’s Chapel Church Road around 7:30 pm. At that time, the vehicle flipped over and threw the 18-year-old from the vehicle. Reportedly, the 18-year-old driver was speeding and not wearing a seatbelt prior to the wreck.

The second wreck involved the 40-year-old boyfriend of the 18-year-old man’s mother who was heading to the accident scene to help. As the 40-year-old driver came around a curve, he lost control of his vehicle, which led to another car heading the opposite direction hitting the 40-year-old man’s vehicle’s driver side door. The 40-year-old man had to be taken to the hospital and undergo emergency surgery following the wreck.

What Is North Carolina Doing to Make the Roads Safer for Teen Drivers?

North Carolina has a multi-stage driver licensing process that enables teens to gradually gain experience driving on the road and in complex driving situations. Teens must first earn a limited learner’s permit, then a limited provisional license and finally a full license.

Teens can apply for a limited learner’s permit at 15. To earn a limited learner’s permit, teens must have completed an approved driver education course. A limited learner’s permit allows a teen to drive between 5 am and 9 pm as long as there is a responsible adult who is a licensed driver and has been approved by the teen’s parent or guardian riding with the teen driver and supervising.

Once a teen has turned 16 and has had his or her limited learner’s permit for 12 months, the teen can apply for a limited provisional license. To earn a limited provisional license, teens must pass a DMV driving test. Teens can drive without a supervising adult with a limited provisional license. However, they cannot drive from 9 pm to 5 am except under certain special circumstances.