-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
FRIDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Teen drivers are 50 percent
more likely to crash within the first month of getting their
driver's license than they are after driving for a full year,
according to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic
Moreover, these new drivers are nearly twice as likely to crash
in the first month as they are after two full years behind the
wheel, the study found.
However, parents can help teens prevent accidents by setting
limits and helping them master driving skills in all types of
driving conditions, the traffic safety experts pointed out.
In conducting the research for the AAA Foundation, investigators
at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center
pinpointed three common mistakes new teenage drivers make,
including: speeding; not paying attention; and failing to
These three mistakes, the study noted, accounted for 57 percent
of all the crashes for which teens were even partially
Certain types of crashes -- such as accidents involving
left-hand turns -- were more common during the first few months of
driving but quickly declined as teens gained experience, the
Some accidents occur, however, not because of inexperience, but
because new drivers fail to master certain driving skills, the
study pointed out.
"We know that young drivers' crash rates decrease quickly as they gain experience. What our new study tells us is that there are a few specific abilities that we could do a better job of helping teens develop before they begin driving independently," AAA Foundation president and CEO Peter Kissinger, said in an AAA news release.
A separate study, which relied on in-vehicle cameras, found that
while they are learning to drive with their parents, teens stick to
routine trips on familiar roads with optimal driving conditions.
Once they are licensed and unsupervised, however, the teens'
driving deteriorated, resulting in some close calls, texting while
driving, horseplay with passengers, running red lights and other
potentially dangerous behaviors.
"This research serves as a great reminder for parents to stay involved in the learning process even after the law allows teens to drive without a parent in the car," added Kissinger. "Continued parent engagement can help teens gain needed driving experience and shape their habits for a lifetime of safe driving."
The experts advised parents of several steps they can take to
keep their children safe when they are on the road on their own,
And, the AAA experts added, parents should be firm and enforce
the limits and rules they set on their teen's driving.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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