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AAA underscores the need for more supervision of teen drivers

Parents of teen drivers in Oklahoma may have heard that National Teen Driver Safety Week was held in October. As part of this program, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released some research data showing how teen drivers often face increased risks for fatal accidents.

The main issue came down to teen passengers. If a teen driver only has passengers around their age in their vehicle, the fatality rate for everyone goes up 51 percent. Furthermore, the fatality rate goes up 56 percent for the occupants of other vehicles and 17 percent for bicyclists and pedestrians.

However, the fatality rate declines by 8 percent when a passenger 35 years or older rides with the teen driver. Lack of experience, as well as the distractions that teen passengers can pose, is behind this trend. Speeding and driving at night are other important factors in the fatality rate.

AAA strongly recommends that teens get at least 100 hours of supervised practice driving with a parent or guardian before going solo. The auto association also advises parents to set up rules limiting teen passengers in their children's vehicles. The research comes at a crucial time as 2016 saw more than a million car crashes involving teen drivers. Over 3,200 fatalities resulted.

When teens cause car accidents through their own negligence, those who are not at fault could be eligible for compensation. A victim can file a claim against the other side's auto insurance company. A lawyer could strengthen the case with the help of accident investigators, medical experts and other third parties. A crash victim can leave all negotiations to their lawyer and consider litigation as a last resort.

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