Learning how to drive is a right of passage for a teenager. It is a big responsibility, though, one that some may not fully understand. Many teenage drivers are easily distracted, either by friends, electronic devices or various other things -- so much so that they are involved in serious -- sometimes fatal -- car accidents. This is a big problem, not only in South Carolina but across the country as well.
According to researchers, teenage drivers are more likely to text or use social media apps while driving. This has led to an increase in teen-involved fatal accidents. In fact, fatality rates rose 10 percent in 2015.
Approximately 55 percent of all teenage drivers believe that they can text and drive without any issues. At the same time, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 60 percent of all accidents involving teens are the result of distractions behind the wheel. Texting while driving, in particular, is a major concern and even causes more accidents than drunk driving.
South Carolina does have laws against texting and cell phone use in general when driving. Unfortunately, these laws have not stopped the problem. Thousands of people are injured or killed in car accidents resulting from distracted driving. Those who have been hurt or who have lost loved ones in such incidents may have legal recourse. With the help of counsel, civil claims may be filed against those believed responsible -- the drivers and/or vehicle owners if different -- in an effort to seek compensation for any damages sustained.
Source: postandcourier.com, "Distractions deadly to teen drivers", Elsa McDowell, Nov. 14, 2016