Teens on the Road

In 2013, 6% of all drivers in the United States were teenagers from age 15-19, totaling just over 12 million teenagers. 4,000 of these teens were involved in fatal car crashes. 53% of the teens in crashes were involved in drunk driving accidents. To help keep your teen safe on the road, here are a few tips.

Know Your Restrictions

In South Carolina, at age

  • 15 years old: eligible for a learner’s permit.
  • 15 years old and 180 days: eligible for provisional license.
    • Your teen is restricted to not driving between the hours of 6 pm to 6 am.
  • 16 years old: eligible for special restricted license, or unrestricted license (with conditional license).
    • Your teen is restricted to 8 pm to 6 am unless an extension has been approved with the DMV.
  • 17 years old: eligible for regular driver license (without conditional license).

If you’re younger than 17 years old, a driver’s education course is required before getting any type of driver’s license. Once you reach the age of 17 years old, you can obtain a conditional or unrestricted driver’s license as long as you have held your learner’s permit for 180 days.

An approved South Carolina driver’s education course requires:

  • 8 hours of classroom time.
  • 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training.

Tips for Your Teen

  • Stay off your cellphone! Texting and driving is now illegal in the state of South Carolina. Texting while driving can account for almost 25% of all traffic accidents.
  • Obey the speed limit. Going faster to get somewhere quicker won’t help if you crash because of driving too fast.
  • Practice defensive driving. Remember to keep enough distance between you and other cars and stay alert. Remember the things taught in your driver’s course.
  • Minimize distractions. Eating, drinking, playing with the radio, and fumbling around in your backpack will cause you to loose attention to the road. Having less people in the car is another way to minimize distractions.
  • If your teen has a restricted license, make sure they know when they can stay out driving. Certain licenses have certain restrictions!
  • Practice what you preach. Show your teen good driving tips by being safe yourself!