Teens with new license more likely to crash

Some California parents may want to supervise teenage drivers a bit longer than they originally planned. According to a study, a teen’s risk of crashing significantly increases as soon as he or she graduates from a learner’s permit to a full driver’s license. The study was conducted by researchers from Virginia Tech University and the National Institutes of Health.

Researchers found that newly-licensed teens are eight times more likely to crash or nearly crash during the first three months of being a fully licensed driver, compared to the last three months of driving on their learner’s permit. This is because they can drive alone with their driver’s license, but they must be accompanied by an adult with their learner’s permit.

The study also found that teen drivers have a tendency to brake too hard, accelerate too fast and turn too sharply, which can lead to car accidents. Because of the findings, the authors of the study recommend that parents ease their teens into solo driving over time. That approach seems to have worked in Illinois. In 2008, the state passed a law that tripled the length of time it takes to graduate from a learner’s permit to a full driver’s license. By 2017, the program had reduced the number of teen driving deaths in the state by 50 percent.

Drivers who cause motor vehicle accidents could be held accountable in court. For example, if someone is injured in a crash that was caused by another driver, the victim could file a personal injury lawsuit seeking financial compensation. Possible damages awarded in such a case include pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and property loss. Victims could learn more by consulting with an attorney.

Source: DMV, “Study: Teen Drivers Get More Dangerous After Getting Their License“, Kyle Magin, July 26, 2018