Many teenagers look forward to the day when they are finally able to drive a car and gain greater independence from their parents. But a new study finds that some teenagers may not get enough practice time behind the wheel and are ill equipped to avoid common errors. Many teenage driving car accidents may be attributable to that inexperience.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists auto accidents as the leading cause of death for teenagers. In 2009, approximately 3,000 teens were killed and more than 350,000 were treated for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes, according to the CDC.
Common Teen “G-Force” Errors
A recent U.S. National Institutes of Health study found that young drivers are more prone to commit gravitational force or “g-force” errors, which include braking too late, taking sharp turns or speeding up rapidly. A teen driver who makes any of these mistakes is more likely to lose control and cause a car accident.
As part of the NIH study, the driving habits of teen drivers and parents were studied. Researchers placed surveillance equipment in each participant’s car. The teens had 37 crashes and 242 near crashes, during the 18 month survey compared to only two crashes and 32 near crashes for the parents. The study also noted that it can take several years before a teen driver develops safer driving skills.
Graduated License Program Reduces Accidents
One way to help teens develop safer driving skills is to require more driving practice. A graduated driver’s license program is in place for teens to reduce the number Westchester County car accidents. This program includes an initial supervised learner’s period followed by an intermediate license with limits on unsupervised driving.
Under the graduated driver’s license program, teens must complete 50 hours of supervised driving before they receive a restricted license. With a restricted license the number of passengers and driving times are limited.
Graduated driver’s license programs have proven effective in reducing teen car fatalities and injuries. However, teenage drivers still may lack the experience to avoid common errors that can lead to accidents. Following an accident caused by an inexperienced teenage driver, contact a New York personal injury attorney for advice on how best to proceed.