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Crash risk goes up for teen drivers once they are licensed

Teen drivers in New York as well as their parents may be surprised by the results of a study conducted by the National Institutes for Health and Virginia Tech University. Researchers analyzed the behavior of 90 teen drivers and measured their risk for crashes and near-misses with other vehicles. That risk was eight times higher in the first three months that teens spent driving alone than in the previous three months they spent with parental supervision.

In other words, licensed teen drivers appear to be more dangerous than those with a learner’s permit. Though the participants engaged in unsafe driving behaviors, such as severe turning and harsh braking, these dwindled by the time they received their license even though the crash risk did not change.

Researchers believe that parental supervision can prevent teens from developing certain skills behind the wheel that cannot be developed adequately once that supervision is abruptly cut off. They recommend a gradual decrease in supervision for licensed teen drivers.

This is crucial because according to the NIH, car crashes are the leading cause of death among 14-to-19-year-olds. Some states, like Illinois, have responded to the trend by increasing the amount of time between getting a learner’s permit and a license. NIH researchers will continue to study factors that create safer outcomes for teens.

When drivers become negligent and cause car accidents, they will be at fault, and the victims could be eligible for compensation. Filing an injury claim is complex, so victims may want a lawyer by their side. A lawyer might utilize a network of professionals to obtain evidence from the police and investigate the crash. Medical experts may also be brought in to determine the extent of the injuries. The lawyer may then negotiate for a settlement out of court, litigating as a last resort.

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