March 15, 2012
While North Carolina’s graduated licensing program has been successful in reducing the number of motor vehicle accidents teenagers are involved in, it also has been successful in reducing the number of teens who get the driving education and experience they need.
Research from the Department of Transportation shows that in 2010, 28 percent of 16 year olds had driver licenses compared with 44 percent in 1980. The number of older drivers has also reduced from 1980 to 2010:
- 17 year olds went from 66 percent to 45 percent
- 18 year olds from 75 percent to 61 percent
- 19 year olds from 80 percent to 70 percent
The number of accidents among drivers ages 18-25 has remained the same.
A new rule being adopted by North Carolina high schools requiring teens to pay up to a $45 fee to take a driver’s education course is further reducing the number of teens seeking licenses. WRAL News reports that some schools have seen more than a 20 percent reduction in driver’s education class size, forcing some schools to cut the number of classes offered as well.
Lawmakers have recognized the problem and are looking at alternative funding sources, such as a $5 surcharge on license plates for motor vehicles in the state.
The North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers at HensonFuerst Injury Lawyers encourage all new drivers to participate in a licensed and certified driver’s education course before hitting the road.