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Teen drivers face highest risk for car accidents during first month of driving

Teen drivers in Lake Charles, Louisiana face the same task that other teenage drivers around Louisiana do - they have to learn how to drive from experience. We are all familiar with the old adage that experience is the best teacher. A new study by AAA proves the old saying and shows that as teenagers gain more driving experience the risk of car accidents is reduced.

Teenagers face the highest risk of getting into a car accident when they get behind the wheel of a car by themselves for the first time. That means no driver instructor and no parents as passengers. According to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, teens are 50 percent more likely to crash during their first month of driving than they are after one year of experience. Teen drivers are also twice as likely to get into a traffic accident during the first month of driving as they are after gaining two years of driving experience.

According to spokesperson for AAA, teens simply do not have enough experience to handle everything they encounter on the road. As teens move beyond learner's permits and gain driver's permits, teenage friends replace parents in the passenger seat which means the teen driver also has to learn to handle increased distraction.

Three common mistakes make up the majority of teen car accident causes. The three mistakes are lack of attention, failure to yield and failure to slow down.

Teen driving is not completely full of doom and gloom; parents can help their teen drivers by continuing to talk to them about safe driving habits especially during the first month of driving.

Source: The Washington Post, "Teen drivers most likely to crash in first month of solo driving," Mark Berman, Oct. 15, 2011

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