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Program helps bring down teen auto accident rates

California teens may be at a greater danger of getting into a fatal motor vehicle accident compared to older drivers. However, a new approach, known as graduated driver licensing (GDL), may help.

How the GDL program works

This is a three-stage process, and it allows teens to get more practice time in before they drive unsupervised. In the learner stage, they must drive with an adult for at least six months. In the second stage, teens are permitted to drive without supervision under certain restrictions. It is only in the third stage that their driving becomes unrestricted. The AAA reports that in some states, the program has led to a reduction in fatalities of 19% and a drop of 34% in accidents leading to personal injuries among 16-year-old drivers.

Teens and dangerous behavior

Speed, alcohol and lack of experience are all factors in traffic accidents, which is the number one cause of deaths among teens annually. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that 3,000 teens each year die in these accidents.

Teen drivers and alcohol

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2010, seven people between 16 and 19 years old died every day as a result of motor vehicle accidents. Although many states have strict laws with increased penalties for people who are underage and driving under the influence, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that around 25% of drivers in deadly traffic accidents in 2011 had been drinking. Teenage males are more likely than females to be drinking with 28% of those in fatal motor vehicle accidents driving under the influence but just 16% of female drivers. In all, teens tend to be less likely to accurately assess risk than older drivers.

If you are injured in an MVA, you may not know that the person at fault may be required to pay you compensation. This can sometimes be difficult to obtain for several reasons. Some injuries may exhibit delayed symptoms, and the other driver’s insurance company could try to deny the claim on these grounds. A lawyer may help you through every stage of your lawsuit.

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