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Teens more prone to crashes after they get their license

Teen drivers in West Virginia should be aware of the risks they run both before and after they obtain their license. A study conducted by the National Institutes for Health and Virginia Tech University has shown that teens have a higher risk for crashes and near-misses with other vehicles after they start to drive alone.

Researchers analyzed the behaviors of 90 teen drivers in Virginia from the time they received their learner's permit to the time they became licensed. The study period ended one year after drivers obtained their license. It was discovered that the first three months for licensed drivers were the most dangerous: teens were eight times more likely to crash in that time period than in their last three months with a learner's permit.

For the study, researchers used dashcams to observe both the road and the driver and had software record speed and braking data. They found that teens were generally more cautious than adults at night and in bad weather but drove worse on clear, bright days. Teens exhibited unsafe behaviors like severe turning, harsh braking and excessively fast acceleration. The authors conclude that parental supervision keeps teens from learning certain skills and encourage a better understanding of how teens can learn these skills. They also recommend a gradual decrease in supervision once drivers are licensed.

If the trend is not addressed, teens will continue to engage in negligent driving and get into crashes. Occupants of other vehicles who are injured might want to meet with an attorney to pinpoint the party or parties who should be held financially responsible, which in some cases could include the driver's parents.

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