Fatal crashes fall among teen drivers

Apr 07, 2011 By Robert E. Cilley

Programs that create some common-sense restrictions when young drivers get behind the wheel have helped cut the rate of deadly crashes by more than half. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at fatal crashes among 16- and 17-year-old drivers. For every 100,000 youths, the rate of fatal crashes fell from 36 in 1996 to 16.7 in 2008. The CDC report cites graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs, which restrict driving under high-risk conditions when teens first get licenses.

While state GDL programs vary, most bar from late at night or with teen . The states with the toughest rules, New Jersey and New York, had the lowest fatal crash rates. Pennsylvania’s GDL program involves a restricted license for 16- and 17-year- old drivers issued only after 50 hours of supervised driving. Driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. is prohibited, and the number of passengers may not exceed the number of seatbelts in the vehicle.

Still, there is a lot of room for progress: Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death among U.S. teens.

Do you have a newly licensed teen driver in the family? Pennsylvania’s GDL program helps protect your teen; however, you can do more. Fatal crashes occur more often when there are teen passengers in the car. Other distractions, particularly cell phone use and texting, contribute to fatal crashes, as well.

The CDC suggests parents draft a parent-teen driving contract to reinforce GDL rules, restrict passengers, and prohibit cell phone use.

Explore further: Digesting bread and pasta can release biologically active molecules

Related Stories

Fatal crashes involving teen drivers drop (Update)

Oct 21, 2010

(AP) -- Far fewer people are dying in car crashes with teens at the wheel, but it's not because teenagers are driving more cautiously. Experts say laws are tougher, and cars and highways are safer.

Behind the wheel: Restricting young drivers

Sep 22, 2010

Restricting newly qualified young drivers from night-time motoring and carrying passengers of a similar age could help could save up to 200 lives every year, according to University research.

Recommended for you

Noise from fireworks threatens young ears

11 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The Fourth of July weekend is a time for celebrations and beautiful fireworks displays. But, parents do need to take steps to protect their children's ears from loud fireworks, a hearing expert ...

Many new teen drivers 'crash' in simulated driving task

11 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Around four in 10 newly licensed teen drivers "crashed" in a simulated driving test, suggesting that many adolescents lack the skills they need to stay safe on the road, according to a new study.

Insurer Aetna to buy Humana in $35B deal

12 hours ago

Aetna will spend about $35 billion to buy rival Humana and become the latest health insurer bulking up on government business as the industry adjusts to the federal health care overhaul.

Feeling impulsive or frustrated? Take a nap

14 hours ago

Taking a nap may be an effective strategy to counteract impulsive behavior and to boost tolerance for frustration, according to a University of Michigan study.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.