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Number of Fatal Teen Car Accidents Decline Across Nation

According to a recent report issued by the Centers for Disease Control the number of fatal teenage auto accidents has declined over the past five years. The Centers for Disease Control report cites tougher teenage driving laws and parental involvement as key factors in the reduction of teen car accident fatalities.

In Louisiana, there were 139 teenagers ages 16 to 19 that were killed in car accidents on the state’s highways. Of the teenagers that were killed, 94 percent were in the driver’s seat at the time of the accident. Across the country, fatal teen car accidents are down 33 percent since 2004. The number of fatal teen accidents in 2004 was 2,200, and the number of fatal teen accidents in 2008 dramatically fell to 1,400. The Centers for Disease Control study reviewed accidents where drivers were ages 16 to 17-years-old. Over the course of the five year span the report reviewed there were 9,600 reported accidents with 11,000 fatalities.

Experts say that the reduction in the amount of car related fatalities is not because teenagers have become safer drivers. Instead, graduated driver’s licensing laws and parental enforcement of graduated licensing rules are attributed to the reduced amount of deaths. Forty-nine of the fifty states have graduated teenage licensing laws, and the states that have the strictest rules have seen the greatest drop in fatalities.

The Centers for Disease Control encourages parents to continue to play a central role in their teenager’s driving education. In comparison to experienced drivers, teenagers are almost four times as likely to be involved in a auto accident.

Source: Daily World, “Keep Teens Safe While Driving,” 10/26/10

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