Any Chicago car accident attorney knows that teen drivers are involved in more accidents than adults. Why? A new study by the National Institutes of Health has found that the reason teen drivers are more likely to be involved in a car accident due to elevated gravitational forces (or g-forces). The elevation is caused by common new-driver mistakes like braking too late or swerving sharply.
“Novice teen drivers are almost four times as likely to end up in a car
accident or close-call as adult drivers, the study found. And risky
driving is five times more prevalent among new teen drivers, as compared
with older, experienced drivers. Even a year or more out, as young
drivers gain experience, their risky driving behavior persists, with
accident rates remaining several times that of adults, the study found,” reports USA Today.
Chicago car accident attorneys have experience with accidents involving newly licensed drivers. Most of the time, these car accidents are caused by risky driving behaviors, including:
- Excessively fast acceleration
- Sharp turning – 25 to 30 times more often than parents
- Overcorrecting or swerving sharply to avoid objects
- Late braking
The risk of an accident decreases with age and experience. But how do you keep your newly licensed teen driver – and other drivers on the road – safe in the interim and help them avoid car accidents? Chicago car accident attorneys recommend setting limits on your teen’s driving in the first year. Some examples of limits include:
- Passengers: Chatting with friends while driving is a distraction. If you limit the number of passengers in the vehicle, it will be easier for your teen driver to concentrate on the road.
- Time of Day: It may make sense to limit your teen driver to daytime hours only, until they have gained some experience. Night driving can be challenging for even the most experienced of drivers.
- Type of Driving: Some parents do not allow their newly licensed drivers to drive on highways or other roads with a speed limit higher than, say, 50 mph.
- Cell Phone Ban: Many states and cities, including Chicago, have specific laws regarding cell phone use while driving. Remind your teen that not only is using your cell phone while driving dangerous, it is also illegal in many places.
It takes many years of driving experience for the new-driver risk to wear off. In fact, car accidents are the number one cause of death and disability among teenagers nationwide. Our Chicago car accident attorneys recommend working with your newly licensed driver and following the above recommended guidelines to gain experience and make sure they are practicing safe driving skills.