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Driving risks spike for newly licensed teens

A July 2018 report from the National Institutes of Health shows that a typical teen driver is a lot more dangerous on the road during their first three months of being licensed. Compared to the last three months of driving with an adult, teens are eight times more likely to get into an accident once they start driving alone. While none of the 90 teen drivers tested in the study were from Iowa, experts believe that the results could apply to the entire country.

In order to gather results, the teen's vehicles were monitored with dash cams and recorders that measured speed and braking. The data showed that the teens often accelerated too quickly, braked too abruptly, and turned too severely. These behaviors increased the risks of near misses and accidents. The data also showed that teenagers were safer drivers at night and during bad weather, but their risks rose dramatically during clear days.

Some experts at the NIH are recommending that teenagers go through a more gradual decrease in parental supervision after getting their licenses. Researchers state that there needs to be a better understanding of how teens learn safe driving skills without active supervision. For teenagers between the ages of 14 and 19, car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death.

Drivers or passengers who experience injuries due to risky teenage driving may be able to seek compensation for pain and suffering. A car accident victim could seek counsel from an attorney who can carefully examine the case and recommend a course of action that best represents the interests of the client. Legal counsel may negotiate with insurance companies or file a lawsuit to get the funds the victim needs.

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