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Teens are at highest risk right after getting a driver's license

Parents of young drivers are often incredibly nervous that first night that their teen takes the car out alone.

The parents know that the teen passed driver's training and took the proper certification tests. They know that the teen was properly educated. They drove along with the teen on the learner's permit, so they know that he or she has done it successfully for hours on end.

But that doesn't curb their anxiety until they see those headlights pull back in the driveway. The reason is simple: The greatest risk, for teen drivers, is in the first few months.

Per the National Center for Biotechnology Information, fatal accident rates spike in the first few months that a young person has a license. During the first half of a year of driving on their own, these drivers are roughly eight times as likely as experienced adults to find themselves in deadly accidents. After the six-month mark, though things get better, drivers are still between two and three times as likely as experienced drivers to be involved in deadly wrecks.

That does not mean that teens themselves are going to be killed, of course, even though car accidents are one of the leading causes of death for their age group. They could also cause deadly accidents that take the lives of pedestrians, other drivers or passengers in their own cars.

When this happens, it's important for the families of those who are killed to know if they have a right to seek out financial compensation. Teens do have an obligation to obey traffic laws and drive safely, even if the statistics show that this often does not happen.

Source: NCBI, "2 The Anatomy of Crashes Involving Young Drivers," accessed Aug. 30, 2017

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