Teen motorists in Illinois may be bigger threats to others on the roadway during the first three months after they receive their licenses. When teens have only a learner's permit, they must drive with adult accompaniment. However, they are legally allowed to travel alone once they get their licenses. The major changes that solo driving can bring were illustrated by one recent study that examined the teen driving safety. This study, which included 90 teens and 131 parents, was conducted by Virginia Tech and the National Institutes for Health.
Teen motorists had dashcams installed in their vehicles to observe both them and the roadway. In addition, software monitored speed and braking. The participants were observed from the time when they first got their learner's permits to the end of their first year as licensed drivers. The study found that newly licensed teens were eight times more likely to have a car accident or a near miss during their first three months with a driver's license in comparison with their last three months with a learner's permit.
Furthermore, the researchers found that when teens drive alone after receiving their licenses, they are more likely to speed up too quickly, brake too suddenly and turn too sharply. The researchers noted that teen drivers cut down on these dangerous behaviors as they continued to drive alone; although, their rate of car accidents remained steady through their first year.
While teen motorists may inadvertently drive dangerously as they learn to operate vehicles alone, the consequences for others could be severe. Someone who has been injured in a car crash due to another's negligent or dangerous behavior may consult with a personal injury lawyer in order to pursue compensation for damages.