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Getting a license can raise teens' car crash risk eight times

While it can be a time for celebration when teens get their license, there is a very real risk that goes along with it. Wisconsin drivers should know that the National Institutes for Health ran a study comparing teen driving behavior before obtaining their license and after. It turns out that the chances that teens get in a crash or near-miss go up eight times in the first three months of having a license compared to the three months before obtaining it.

The 90 teens who participated in the study were found to engage in all kinds of unsafe maneuvers, including severe turning, harsh braking and high-speed acceleration after receiving their license. Researchers believe that the adult supervision teens receive when they have a permit is too quickly withdrawn, leaving teens with no way to develop skills on their own. A gradual withdrawal may be the best solution to this trend.

Some states have done something along these lines and seen positive results. Illinois, for example, passed legislation in 2008 that tripled the length of time between drivers obtaining a permit and obtaining a license. The updated driver education program managed to cut teen driver deaths in half over the following decade from 155 in 2007 to 76 in 2017.

The important thing is to teach teen drivers responsibility. Otherwise, teens could become negligent behind the wheel and speed, drive distracted, drive drunk or otherwise endanger those on the road. Those who are injured in a motor vehicle accident through no fault of their own, or who are less at fault than the other, have a right to compensation in this state. They can exercise that right by filing an accident claim against the guilty teen driver's auto insurance company. Legal representation may prove helpful in this endeavor.

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