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Teens' car crash risk goes up once they are licensed, says NIH

Louisiana residents should know that a teen driver's risk for a crash or near-miss actually goes up once drivers obtain their license. In a recent study from the National Institutes for Health and Virginia Tech University, 90 teens had their driving monitored from the time they had their learner's permit to their first full year as licensed drivers.

The risk of a crash or near-miss incident went up eight times during the first three months of having a license when contrasted with the last three months of having a permit. In particular, teens who had just been licensed were discovered to make severe turns, brake harshly, accelerate quickly and engage in other dangerous maneuvers.

Researchers say that adult supervision is too suddenly taken away and that this can cause problems for teens, who may have been hindered from developing certain skills that they can only develop alone. The study suggests a more gradual process of removing supervision.

This is something that Illinois, to take one example, has done. In 2008, it passed legislation that tripled the time it takes for teens with permits to get a license. In 2017, the state saw 76 teen driver deaths, a reduction of more than half compared to the 155 killed in 2007. However, the NIH says this is not the only possible solution; it will continue to research possible safety factors.

Ultimately, the responsibility lies with drivers whether they act negligently behind the wheel. When one side in a car accident is clearly more at fault than another, there may be a good chance of being reimbursed for economic and non-economic damages. Under this state's comparative fault rule, even those who are partially to blame can recover damages although the amount will be proportionate to the degree of fault. To ensure the maximum possible settlement, victims may wish to work with a lawyer.

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