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Teen drivers are less safe after they receive their licenses

Oklahoma residents, especially teen drivers and their parents, might be interested in the results of a study conducted by the National Institutes for Health. Together with Virginia Tech University, researchers analyzed the behaviors of 90 teen drivers in Virginia from the time they obtained their learner’s permits to their first year as licensed drivers. Using dashcam footage and software data, they found that licensed teen drivers are less safe.

Specifically, the risk for a crash or near-miss went up eight times from the last three months that drivers had their permits to the first three months that they were licensed. Parental supervision during the permit phase can keep teens from developing skills that they can only learn alone, according to the NIH. Therefore, a better understanding of how teens learn safe driving is necessary.

The participants were found to engage in unsafe behaviors like turning too severely, braking too harshly and accelerating too quickly. While licensed drivers did not engage in them as often, it did not alter the crash risk.

To fight the trend, some states have lengthened the time between teens receiving their permits and licenses. Illinois passed a law in 2008 that tripled this time period, and from 2007 to 2017 the number of annual teen driver deaths decreased from 155 to 76.

While teen drivers are inexperienced, they will still be held liable for any car accidents they cause. Victims will need to show how exactly the defendant was being negligent and prove that the injuries for which they seek compensation are all accident related. Negotiating with an auto insurance company can also be nerve-wracking, which is why victims will want legal aid. A lawyer could hire accident investigators, tackle all negotiations and prepare the case for court if the other side refuses to pay out.