The number of automobile accidents on Tennessee roads where teenage drivers are involved may be a matter of concern to many road users. When comparing the requirements for obtaining a driver’s license in Tennessee to that of a neighboring state, it may leave a person wondering whether this may be the cause of many car accidents in Tennessee. While young drivers across the state line are required to complete a program of driver education, Tennessee teenagers can obtain a driver’s license without attending even one class of related education.
At age 15, Tennessee students who pass a written test may obtain a learner’s permit. To qualify for a written and practical test for a driver’s license, the applicant’s parents must certify that their child has spent no less than 50 hours driving in the company of a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. These hours must include 10 hours of driving at night. After holding the learner’s permit for nine months, they are free to apply for a driver’s license. The lack of experience and knowledge while operating a motor vehicle may have dire consequences for both the driver and any victims of car accidents.
In comparison, teenagers in Virginia have to prove that they have completed a driver education course. This course presents 36 classroom sessions covering topics such as drug an alcohol awareness and safety, distracted and aggressive driving, along with bicycle and pedestrian safety. In addition, the program covers awareness of motorcycles, handicapped parking and organ and tissue donation. Practical instruction includes seven in-car driving sessions and seven observation periods. While many car accidents that are caused by teenagers are attributed to a lack of experience, the basic knowledge covered in this education program may instill some sense of responsibility as a driver.
Teenagers in Tennessee may benefit from taking a private driver education course in order to prepare them for the enormous responsibility they will have as a driver. Injured victims of car accidents that were the result of the negligent actions of another party may pursue the recovery of damages. They retain the right to file a personal injury claim in a Tennessee civil court, and successful presentation may lead to a court awarding restitution for medical and other expenses that were brought about by the accident.
Source: timesnews.net, “Driver’s ed required in Va., not in Tenn.”, Rick Wagner, Sept. 15, 2014