North Carolina motorists may be facing increased risk of car accidents caused by unlicensed teen drivers. Experts say that three fatal accidents caused by young drivers in recent years may be a harbinger of things to come due to future State cutbacks in teen driver training funding.
Currently, North Carolina law permits drivers ages 16 to 17 years old to obtain driver's licenses, but only after first completing driver's education training. The problem is that the General Assembly has voted to end funding driver's training programs currently offered in schools on June 30. Instead, local school boards will be forced to shoulder the bulk of the costs for that training which averages about $200 per student. Making matters even worse, the state will limit any school's ability to charge more than $65 per student.
In addition to the driver's training costs, there are also other reasons why teenagers are choosing to forgo getting licenses before getting behind the wheel. For some teens it's simply a matter of logistics. Kids living in urban areas like Raleigh, Charlotte or Asheville, North Carolina, often have access to public transportation. Still, other kids put off getting a license because social media often offsets their need to physically visit with their friends.
It's estimated that many kids who live in rural areas are more prone to driving without a license than their urban counterparts. According to one state trooper, the only way police discover that some kids don't have licenses is when they crash or get stopped for some violation.
North Carolina motorists have a right to expect that they will not suffer unnecessary risk of harm. If you have been injured as a result of someone else's reckless behavior there are a few things that you should know. North Carolina allows victims to sue parties who are ultimately responsible for their car accident injuries. Your attorney can review the facts of your case and determine whether a lawsuit against a responsible party may be warranted. If successful, it is entirely possible that you may be able to recover compensation related to your medical costs and lost wages.
Source: Citizen Times, "Unlicensed teen drivers: Accident waiting to happen" Sabian Warren, Feb. 18, 2015