Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The first months behind the wheel are the most dangerous for young drivers, according to a new study.
Gigi Barnett reports there is something parents can do to keep teens safe.
Strong road skills take time and practice, according to a new AAA study released this week. It found that in the first month of unsupervised driving, teens have a 50 percent chance of an accident.
“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and the first few years of unsupervised driving is the most dangerous for these newly licensed teen drivers,” said AAA spokeswoman Christine Delise.
AAA researchers tracked young drivers by installing a camera in their cars. They recorded three common mistakes that experienced drivers rarely make. Teens consistently failed to slow down or yield properly and distractions like texting are widespread.
“Not really surprising. I have a lot of friends who’ve gotten into accidents,” said Michael Wilcox.
With a new license in hand, 17-year-old Michael Wilcox now runs errands for his family. While he doesn’t doubt the study, he says accidents can happen at any age, but it just depends on who’s behind the wheel.
AAA says there are some things they can do to make sure their teens avoid accidents. First, give them more practice. More time behind the wheel means better experience. Also, cut out the passengers. That only leads to more distractions.
The study also discovered that after one year of driving, the number of crashes among teens dropped significantly.