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South Carolina bill could impact dangerous teen driving behaviors

For many teenagers, earning a driver's license is an incredibly defining moment. The unfortunate reality, however, is that driving is an immense responsibility, and some young people may not be fully up to the task.

In an article we published on our firm's site, we discussed the safety hazards that often accompany young drivers. According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, teens often face challenges in learning how to properly drive in certain conditions and situations. The unfortunate reality is that teen drivers may lack the experience or discretion necessary to avoid causing car accidents.

Beyond the dangers associated with inexperience behind the wheel, there's a perception that teenagers often make careless decisions. Namely, teenagers may be tempted to text and drive. Staying socially connected is important for young people, but there are obviously times when it's best not to use a mobile device -- and while behind the wheel is one of them.

At this time, South Carolina lawmakers are looking into a way to address the problem of texting and driving. Currently, there is a bill to ban the practice among all drivers, not just teens. According to a report from, our state is one of the few that doesn't have a statewide texting ban on the books.

One of the main points of discussion is how to address punishments for texting behind the wheel. First-time offenses are accompanied by a $100 fine and would go up with subsequent violations, according to the current proposal.

No matter if South Carolina's distracted driving laws change, drivers have a duty to pay attention. As young drivers gain experience behind the wheel, the hope is that they will put this in practice. Unfortunately, that lesson may come at a very high cost.

Source:, "Days of texting and driving in South Carolina may be limited," Kaila DeRienzo, Feb. 26, 2014

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