Most teenagers count the days until they can get their driver’s license.
Unfortunately, because of immaturity, inexperience, and other related factors, teen drivers face a significant risk of getting into a car accident after they start driving.
In many tragic cases, these teen auto accidents lead to injuries and fatalities of the teenager, passengers, and others on the road.
Contact Our SC Car Crash Lawyers Today
If you or a family member has suffered serious injuries in a South Carolina car accident that involved a teenage driver, contact the South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm today and get one of our auto accident lawyers on your side. We treat each and every client with courtesy and respect. It is one of our law firm’s client commitments that we return all phone calls within 24 hours or one business day.
We have offices in North Charleston, Columbia, Clinton, Myrtle Beach, and Summerville. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers are ready to handle your case anywhere in South Carolina. We represent clients in all parts of the state, including Florence, Richland County, Orangeburg, Columbia, Horry County, and Mount Pleasant.
Statistics On Teen Driving Accidents
Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that the number of young drivers involved in fatal crashes has declined in recent years, it remains true that many of those who cause serious auto accidents in South Carolina are young drivers with new licenses. Teen drivers account for only 6.7 percent of drivers in South Carolina. These teens are disproportionately involved in crashes throughout the state.
Teenage driving presents a significant risk in South Carolina and throughout the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):
- Motor vehicle crashes are the single leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States.
- More than one out of every three deaths that occur during the teenage years is caused by a motor vehicle crash.
- In 2020, eight teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 died each day as a result of car crashes.
- Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 are three times as likely as older drivers to die as a result of a car crash.
- Roughly 2 of every 3 teenagers killed in crashes in 2021 were males.
- A total of 3,058 teenagers ages 13-19 died in motor vehicle crashes in 2021. This is 11 percent more than in 2020.
- Crash-related injuries and deaths among teens ages 15 to 19 resulted in $40.45 billion in costs in 2021. That includes medical care expenses and lost productivity.
These statistics are frightening to parents in South Carolina. Many of the injuries and deaths could be prevented if teens drove more carefully. That is what makes these statistics most upsetting.
Causes of Teen Driving Accidents in South Carolina
The CDC has identified some of the most important reasons why teens present such a significant danger on our roads.
These reasons include:
- Driver inexperience — Car crash rates are the highest during the first year that a teenager is licensed. An inexperienced driver may make basic mistakes in relation to other cars. They may not know how to respond in adverse weather or when road conditions are less than optimal.
- Driving with other teen passengers – According to the CDC, each additional person in a teen’s vehicle increases the chance of a car crash. Friends in the car pose not only a distraction. They can also make a teen driver more likely to take risks such as driving too fast. South Carolina recognizes the dangers of teenagers driving with friends. For those teens with conditional licenses (new drivers ages 15 and 16), teens are restricted to driving with no more than two passengers under age 21. The only exceptions are if the teen is driving to school or has an older licensed driver in the vehicle.
- Driving at night – While the CDC indicates that nighttime crashes are more common than daytime crashes among all age groups, this is especially true for teen drivers. South Carolina also recognizes the issues presented by driver inexperience. It requires that teens with a conditional or restricted license have a licensed driver with them when driving after 6 p.m. or after 8 p.m. during daylight savings time.
- Distracted driving — While cell phone use is often the biggest issue when it comes to distracted driving, there are also other dangers besides talking on a phone or texting when behind the wheel. Teen drivers may be distracted by eating while driving, changing the music, putting on makeup, talking to passengers, or doing a host of other behaviors instead of paying attention to the road.
South Carolina attempts to minimize these risks with a graduated licensing policy. Also by giving kids conditional or restricted licenses when they first begin to drive. But despite those attempts, it is ultimately up to teenagers to practice safe driving. This is also up to their parents to help them to do so.
Tips for Teen Drivers in South Carolina
Teenagers should keep in mind some basic principles for good driving that can help them to avoid accidents.
For example, teens behind the wheel should:
- Refrain from texting, talking to passengers, talking on a cell phone, eating, or doing anything other than paying attention to the road.
- Pay attention to other drivers.
- Watch out for pedestrians, children, pets, and others who may be sharing the road or who may run into the street.
- Be patient while driving. Don’t swerve in and out of traffic, become angry during traffic jams, or speed to try to get someplace faster. Instead, leave plenty of time to get to your destination while driving at a reasonable speed.
- Adjust driving to weather conditions. This means slowing down during rain, fog, or snow and knowing in advance how to respond to dangerous situations such as skidding on ice.
- Don’t tailgate. If you follow too closely, you increase the chance of causing an accident. Remember, the faster you are going, the longer it takes you to stop.
Contact Our South Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you’ve been seriously injured in a South Carolina auto accident involving an inexperienced driver, you need car accident lawyers you can trust to help you obtain the money and benefits you deserve. For a no-cost consultation, call Joye Law Firm at (888) 324-3100 or fill out our online case evaluation form.