Position:YOUR LIFE

Teenage drivers are eight times more likely to be involved in a collision or near miss during the first three months after getting a driver's license compared to the previous three months on a learner's permit, suggests a study appearing in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Teens also are four times more likely to engage in risky behaviors--such as rapid acceleration, sudden braking, and hard turns--during this period. In contrast, teens on a learner's permit drive more safely, with their crash/near crash and risky driving rates similar to those of adults.

"Given the abrupt increase in driving risks when teenagers start to drive independently, our findings suggest that they may benefit from a more-gradual decrease in adult supervision during the first few months of driving alone," says senior investigator and coauthor Bruce Morton.

The study is one of the first to follow the same individuals over time, from the beginning of the learner period through the first year of independent driving, while continuously collecting information using software and cameras installed in the participants' vehicles.

The study also evaluated parents' driving in the same vehicles, over the same time, on similar roads, and under similar driving conditions as their...

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