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Study looks at newly licensed teen drivers

Teenage drivers in Pennsylvania may be more likely to cause crashes during their first three months of being licensed. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health and Virginia Tech, the risk of a teen getting in an accident or near-miss collision is eight times greater in their first three months of having a license than in their last three months of driving with a parent.

The study monitored 90 teens with dashcams and software that tracked braking and speed. This monitoring began when the students got their permits and ended after a year of licensed driving. Typical errors that teens made were turning too sharply and braking or accelerating too abruptly. While the teens tended to improve on these bad habits, their crash risk did not go down during the year.

Researchers found that at night and during adverse weather, teens were actually safer drivers than adults. However, when conditions were good, they took more risks than adults. According to researchers, the transition to independent driving should be more gradual. The NIH has reported that for teens aged 14 to 19, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death.

Motor vehicle accidents that are not fatal can still be serious. People may suffer catastrophic injuries in these types of accidents. A motorist who causes such an accident may be considered financially liable for the expenses of people injured. Sometimes, a driver's insurance company does not offer enough to cover those expenses. A person who is injured in an accident may want to talk to an attorney about how to obtain maximum compensation.

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