NIH study: teen drivers more dangerous once they are licensed

The National Institutes for Health and Virginia Tech University published the results of a study where researchers compared 90 teens’ driving behaviors when they had a learner’s permit and when they became licensed. Teens in Louisiana and their parents should know that the 90 participants were eight times more likely to crash during their first three months as licensed drivers than during their last three months with a permit.

Adult supervision has a role to play in this. Researchers believe that there are certain driving skills one can only learn alone and that supervision can be an obstacle in this regard. With that supervision withdrawn when they obtain a license, teens become unsafe.

For the study, researchers had dash cams observing both the driver and the road. Software recorded speed and braking. Based on this data, researchers found that newly licensed teens were more liable to engage in risky behaviors like harsh acceleration, sudden braking and the making of sharp turns.

Another study from the NIH found the leading cause of death among 14-to-19-year-olds to be car crashes. Researchers of this recent study say that to reduce accident risk, driver education programs should gradually withdraw adult supervision. By doing something similar to that, Illinois halved the number of teen driver deaths between 2007 and 2017.

Education is not always the problem, though, since many teens will drive distracted or speed while being fully conscious that it is against the law. When negligence is behind a motor vehicle accident, victims may have a chance to seek compensation for their injuries and the costs stemming from them. This means filing a personal injury claim. Victims may want to schedule a case evaluation with a lawyer before moving forward.

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