NIH: teen drivers less safe with a license than with a permit

Virginia Tech University and the National Institutes for Health have conducted a study where they monitored the driving behaviors of 90 teens from the time when they obtained their learner’s permit to the time when they had been driving for a year with a license. The purpose was to see how teens’ risk for a crash or near-miss would change during the transition from a permit to a license. Missouri residents can read the results below.

Compared to the last three months with a permit, the first three months with a license were eight times more risky for teens. After looking at dash cam footage of both drivers and the road and consulting the speed and braking data captured by special software, researchers noted that newly licensed teens would brake harshly, accelerate quickly and make their turns too severe.

With a learner’s permit, teens have parental supervision, which may impede the development of certain skills. Then, once that supervision is gone, teens may struggle to learn those skills. This was the conclusion of the researchers. They also recommended a gradual withdrawing of parental supervision.

Some driver education programs do something like this. Illinois tripled the length of its programs, and from 2007 to 2017 it saw teen driver deaths halved (from 155 to 76).

Driving in a careless or reckless manner, though, is the choice of each individual. When such negligence is behind a car accident, victims who are not to blame or whose degree of fault is less than the other’s may be eligible for compensation. This means they might file a claim to be reimbursed for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and anything else applicable. Having a lawyer may be wise, as auto insurance companies can be aggressive in denying claims.