October 16 through 22 is National Teen Driver Safety Week, and AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety has been in the forefront about the state of teen drivers. AAA has concluded much more research needs to be done about the immediate transition for teens when they receive their license. As was reported in Forbes online, AAA has found that about 50 percent of teens are more likely to crash in the first month of unsupervised driving than they are after a full year of experience driving on their own, and they are nearly twice as likely to crash in their first month as they are after two full years of experience.
The Foundation for Traffic Safety’s researchers analyzed the crashes of new drivers in North Carolina and found three common mistakes: failure to reduce speed, inattention, and failure to yield. These three behaviors accounted for 57 percent of all the crashes in which teens were at least partially responsible during their first month of licensed driving. Additionally, when researchers looked at specific types of crashes in relation to how long the driver had been licensed, they found that some types of crashes occurred at relatively high rates at first then declined quickly with experience. Car crash types that declined more slowly appeared to result not from lack of understanding, but from failure to master certain driving skills.
A second report from the Foundation for Taffic Safety, titled, Transition to Unsupervised Driving, studied 38 families with teenage drivers in North Carolina by collecting data using in-vehicle cameras. A total of nearly 6,000 video clips were analyzed. The study followed the teens during the first six months of licensed driving without their parents in the car. (An earlier phase of the study collected data from cameras during the period when the teens were learning to drive under their parents’ supervision.)
What do we make of the studies? I think one thing state’s should consider is lengthening the time of supervised driving for teens, and possibly increasing the age of unsupervised driving to 17. This is just a thought, and more research needs to be done, but it is clear that teen drivers (especially within their first few months of unsupervised driving) are one of the main culprits for car crashes.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, at 312-588-3384 for a free consultation or go to www.blgchicago.com.