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Teen motorist study identifies trends in risky driving behavior

Receiving a driver’s license marks an exciting time for a teenager in Missouri. However, teens are eight times more likely to be involved in crashes and near misses during their first three months of having a license, according to a recent study conducted by university researchers and the National Institutes of Health.

The study was based on info from dashcams that monitored driver behavior and traffic. Researchers collected data from the time teenagers drove with adults while only holding learners’ permits until a year after they received their full licenses. Once adult supervision ceased, teenage drivers exhibited an increased tendency to accelerate too fast, brake suddenly or turn too hard. These actions led to many more incidents of crashes or almost accidents.

Beyond the first three months of independent driving but within the first year, unsafe driving behaviors went down. However, the chances of accidents stayed the same. Teenagers did succeed in driving with greater caution than adults during bad weather and at night. Their riskiest actions took place during good weather and daylight. A co-author of the study suggested that the switch from supervised to independent driving should be more gradual so that young drivers can develop their skills.

When a negligent or reckless driver injures someone in a wreck, that victim could collect damages for medical expenses and lost income. An attorney familiar with motor vehicle accidents could help a client through the process of filing a lawsuit. After organizing evidence to build the case, an attorney could discuss the settlement with the insurer. This action might produce compensation for the injured party. Otherwise, the attorney could recommend taking the case to trial.