The Sun Sentinel reported AAA recently released statistics showing teen car drivers are 50 percent more likely to be in a car accident in the first month they have their license than they are after having a year of driving experience. This information does not surprise experts like John Pecchio, with AAA Traffic Safety. Pecchio explains that while using a learner’s permit, teens are not only supervised, they typically drive in familiar places with reduced traffic during the daytime. Once they have their licenses, they often increase their nighttime driving, have no supervision, are in unfamiliar places, and may have distracting passengers in the car.
A study shows 57 percent of auto accidents involving teens in their first month with their license typically involved one or more of three common mistakes: failure to slow down, failure to pay attention, or failure to yield. Once a driver has some experience, car crashes decline in number and frequency.
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AAA Foundation conducted a separate study in which they put cameras in cars to monitor newly licensed teen drivers. The footage showed many concerning things including texting while driving, dangerous interactions with passengers, and running red lights. Many simple yet dangerous mistakes were also caught on film.
AAA suggests several things to help ease the transition between the learner’s permit and the license including continuing to practice, limiting passengers, limiting night driving, and setting rules beyond state laws. TeenDriving.AAA.com has additional suggestions to help parents help their new drivers avoid car accidents.