Teen Drivers More Dangerous after Getting Their License

Tennessee residents with teen children know how important it is to supervise them before they go on to obtain their license. Parental supervision during the permit phase can have its limitations, though, according to a study from the National Institutes for Health. Researchers took 90 teen and 131 parent participants and analyzed driving performance from the time the teens obtained their learner’s permit to one year after they received their license.

The point of the study was to measure the risk for crashes and near-misses with other vehicles. It turns out that this risk went up eight times from the last three months of having a permit to the first three months of having a license, despite the fact that unsafe behaviors like sharp turning and harsh braking went down.

The reason, researchers believe, is that there are certain skills that drivers can only learn when alone. They suggest a gradual decrease in supervision during the first few months that teens are licensed as a way to reduce crash risk.

This is crucial because, according to another study by the NIH, car crashes are the leading cause of death among 14- to 19-year-olds. Some states have lengthened the amount of time between getting a permit and a license. Illinois did in 2008 and cut the number of teen driver deaths in half by 2017.

Drivers, regardless of their age, are responsible for keeping their cars under control. When a drowsy, drunk, distracted or otherwise careless driver causes a motor vehicle accident, the other side may have grounds for a personal injury claim. It might take experts to gather the proof, such as the police report, phone records and any eyewitness testimony, so victims may choose to hire a lawyer. The lawyer may be able to negotiate for a fair settlement or litigate if one cannot be achieved.

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