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NIH study shows teen drivers crash more once licensed

The National Institutes for Health has collaborated with university researchers on a new study about teen driving behaviors. Researchers observed 90 teen and 131 parent participants, using dashcams to observe drivers and the road while letting special software record speed and braking data. Their study period ranged from the time that drivers received their learner's permits to the year after they obtained their licenses. Teen drivers in New York may be surprised by the results.

The conclusion was that teens are eight times more likely to get in a crash or near-miss with another vehicle in the three months after obtaining their licenses than in the three months before. Many teens engage in unsafe driving behaviors such as turning too severely, braking harshly and accelerating quickly. Researchers also noted that while teens drive more safely than adults at night and in bad weather, they drive worse on bright, clear days.

The study concludes that during the period when teens have their learner's permits, parental supervision bars them from developing certain bad driving habits. It also suggests that the transition from having supervision to driving solo can be too sudden for teens. Instead, researchers suggest a gradual decrease in supervision once teens obtain their licenses.

Such changes can help reduce the number of auto accidents that are due to negligence. Those who believe they were the victims of negligence may want to see a lawyer about filing a claim. A lawyer could hire investigators and other experts to prove guilt. At this point, legal counsel could handle all negotiations for a settlement.

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