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November 7th, 2011

Teen Drivers Have Highest Accident Risk in First Month after Getting License

This week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is marking Teen Driver Safety Week in order to impress the importance of preventing accidents involving this group of drivers.

To coincide with the commemoration of the week from October 17 to October 22, the American Auto Association has released the results of a study into the safety risks involving teenage motorists. According to the study, a teenage driver’s risk of an accident is the highest during the first month after he gets a driving license .

The researchers used video cameras mounted in vehicles to analyze teen accident risks. They monitored the environment both inside the vehicle, like the number of passengers in the car and music, as well as outside the vehicle, like traffic, weather and light conditions. The researchers studied the risk of car accidents for teens in North Carolina licensed at age 16 or 17, over the first three years after obtaining a license. The video cameras were triggered by vehicle movements, including acceleration, swerving and braking.

They found that teenagers have a 50% higher chance of crashing in the first month after they obtain a license, compared to the first year of experience. Additionally, the researchers found three main factors that were responsible for most teen driver-related accidents – traveling at excessive speeds, distracted driving and failure to yield.

Teenagers have the highest accident rate of any motorist group in the United States. These drivers not only suffer from a lack of experience, but are also much more likely to use cell phones while driving, and ignore messages about the dangers of such practices. Additionally, peer pressure encourages teenagers to indulge in dangerous behaviors, like speeding or driving under the influence, all of these increasing their accident risks.

The Texas car accident lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent injured victims of car accidents across the state of Texas.

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