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Teens see higher risk for crashes after obtaining license

Virginia Tech University and the National Institutes for Health have conducted a study comparing the risk for crashes and near-misses among teens who just obtained their license and teens who were nearing the end of adult supervision as drivers with permits. Oklahoma residents should know that teens licensed for three months or less raised that risk eight times compared to teens who were three months away from obtaining their license.

To arrive at their conclusion, researchers monitored the driving of 90 teens, together with 131 parent participants, from the time they obtained their learner's permit to the end of their first year with a license. In-car cameras and software recording speed and braking were used to gather important data like how quickly drivers accelerated and braked.

Newly licensed teens stood out for their harsh braking, quick acceleration and severe turning. The reason, researchers believe, is that adult supervision had made the teens unable to learn certain skills and that the sudden absence of adults in the car had brought out that unskilled nature in the licensed drivers.

Researchers suggest that adult supervision should be gradually lessened. Illinois, back in 2008, did something like this when it tripled the time it takes for teens to obtain a license. In 2017, Illinois had halved the number of teen driver fatalities.

Though better driver education may help, it cannot prevent drivers from acting negligently when they want to. Distracted, drunk and drowsy driving, not to mention speeding and traffic violations, are all the result of the driver's choice. When negligence is behind a car accident, those who are injured through no fault of their own may be able to recover damages. This is where a lawyer might come in, evaluate the case and pursue negotiations for a settlement out of court.

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