Newly licensed teen drivers less safe than teens with permits

Georgia residents may not know this, but teens are more dangerous in the first three months of driving with a license than in the last three months of driving with a learner's permit and adult supervision. In fact, newly licensed teen drivers raise their risk for a collision or near-miss by eight times. This was the conclusion of a study conducted by Virginia Tech University and the National Institutes for Health.

Researchers analyzed the driving behaviors of 90 teens (131 parent supervisors also participated) from the time they received their permit through their first full year as licensed drivers. In-car cameras observed both the driver and the road, and special software noted drivers' speed and braking.

Harsh braking and acceleration as well as severe turning were some of the riskiest behaviors that newly licensed drivers exhibited, even though they turned out to be safer than adults when it came to driving at night and in bad weather. The study suggests that adult supervision should be gradually lessened in order for teens to learn those skills that can only be developed alone.

Doing so comes with proven results. Illinois tripled the time it takes for teens with permits to obtain a license, and from 2008 to 2017 the number of teen driver deaths was cut in half.

Nonetheless, teens are notorious for negligent behavior behind the wheel. When such negligence is a factor in a car wreck, the teen's auto insurance company may find itself facing a personal injury lawsuit. Victims, to ensure as strong a case as possible, may want legal guidance. A lawyer may speak on their behalf at the negotiation table or in the courtroom. If successful, victims may be reimbursed for their medical expenses, the income they lost during their physical recovery, vehicle repair costs and more.

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