Slow drive to a license

North Carolina requires teen-agers to practice driving for a full year with a learner’s permit before earning a provisional license which limits driving to daylight hours for the first six months. New drivers can carry only one non-related passenger under 21 to prevent distractions from a car load of friends. Teen-agers also must pass 70 percent of their high school classes.

Since the law went into effect in 1997, accidents are way down for new drivers.

Comparing 1996 with 1999, fatal crashes involving 16-year-old drivers declined about 60 percent, according to a study by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center. Crashes with no or minor injuries decreased 23 percent over the same period for that age group. Crash rates for 16-year-old drivers continued to drop after 1999, leveling off in late 2003.

Crashes for drives 25 to 54 years old increased by 5.6 percent in the same time period.

About Joanne


  1. I’ve got no problem with that. I was nearly creamed by a NC student driver a few minutes ago. Mo’ practice is mo’ betta. 🙂

  2. Wayne Martin says:

    The 2004 California Highway Patrol accident data shows that about 8% of the traffic accidents were caused by drivers 18 and below. The percentage jumps to 15% when ages 19 and 20 are added in.

  3. In Texas, laws regarding drivers have recently been changed to be identical to these laws, except for having to pass 70% of their courses. In Texas, they just have to show proof of enrollment in school. I think that it might not be bad to make the rule be passing 100% of their courses – maybe more kids would try harder in school.