According to a new study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, teenage drivers are at an increased risk of a car crash in the first month that they are on the road unsupervised. In fact, researchers concluded that new teen drivers are 50% more likely to be in an accident in the first month behind the when compared with their risk after a year of unsupervised driving. When compared with the crash risk after two years of driving, teens are twice as likely to be in an accident in the first month.
The study was conducted by using in-car video cameras in the cars of 38 new teen drivers. The cameras remained in the car during driver training and during the first six months the teens were driving solo. Researchers found that of the car crashes that occurred in the first month of driving, 57% were caused by just three factors: inattention, speeding, and failure to yield. In the first few months of driving, teens were also more likely to be in a left-hand turn collision.
Researchers concluded that teens need more training to learn certain maneuvers (such as left-hand turns) and more instruction about right of way. The study’s researchers also found that part of the problem seemed to be that teen drivers drove differently when they were supervised than they did when they drove alone. When driving with parents, teens tended to drive in simpler driving conditions, along streets they knew, and the new drivers were also more likely to use caution. When driving alone, though, teens were more likely to talk with passengers and engage in other risky behaviors – such as texting and driving or running red lights. They also tended to drive along unfamiliar routes when driving alone or with friends.
According to the AAA Foundation and other safety experts, there are several things that parents can do if they have new drivers at home and want to reduce the risk of their child being in a car collision in Homestead or any community:
1) Limit the number of passengers your teen is allowed to take in the car. A few studies have shown that teens who drive with teen passengers may be more distracted and may take more risks than teens who drive alone or with adults. The more young passengers in the car, the greater the risk of a car or truck accident in Homestead or your city.
2) Limit night driving. Many car and pedestrian accidents in Homestead occur due to poor lighting and poor visibility at night. You may want to limit night driving until your teen shows that they have mastered driving in better lighting conditions.
3) Encourage more supervised driving. This will discourage risky behavior and will ensure your teen builds driving skills before heading out solo.
4) Get more training for your teen driver. Additional training with a professional instructor is a great way to build skills and confidence. It is a smart investment in your child’s safety.
Have you or your child been seriously injured in a car accident in Homestead or another community in South Florida? Flaxman Law Group is a full-service law firm with offices in Homestead, Hollywood, and Miami. You can always reach us to arrange a free consultation to review your case.