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New, teen drivers at high risk for fatal auto accidents

Getting a driver's license is one of the most exciting moments in their lives for teens in Louisiana and across the country. However, other drivers are aware of the dangers that teen drivers pose. Teen drivers are inexperienced, may believe they can multitask by texting and driving and the may simply make mistakes. Researchers are studying the risk factors for teen drivers and found that teens are at high risk for being involved in a fatal auto accident.

As National Teen Driver Safety Week is underway, suggestions are being made to try and lower the number of car accidents that teens are involved in and, as an extension, reduce the number of car accident fatalities. Research from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute indicates that being a distracted driver is one of the biggest issues that is affecting teen drivers today. Other behaviors that place teens and others at risk are driving around corners, hitting the brakes hard and driving at night.

New teen drivers -- those in the first 18 months of having their license -- have four times as many accidents or near-accidents. Out of every five young drivers, one will be in a car accident in the first six months due to distractions. The goal with the research and information is to hammer home how dangerous it is to not pay attention to the road. Suggested steps include greater law enforcement and concerted effort to educate teens on how their choices can lead to accidents.

This information is valuable because it adds concrete facts to the perception that teens are not aware of the dangers they face or can cause when they are just starting out as drivers. Since car accidents can lead to major medical expenses, lost time at work and death, a legal filing is often necessary to seek compensation to cover all that was lost. A lawyer can help with a case after an accident with a teen driver.

Source: Claims Journal, "Researcher Says Motor Vehicle Crashes Are Leading Cause of Teen Deaths," Oct. 20, 2017

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