Good News: Fatal Crashes Down 55 Percent for Teen Drivers
A recent report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers some positive news about teen driver fatalities. The report reveals that the number of drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 involved in fatal car accidents across the United States has decreased by 55 percent over the ten year period between 2004 and 2013. The number of teen driver fatalities fell from from 5,724 annually to just 2,568.
This astonishing drop is credited to a number of factors, including:
- Safer vehicles being purchased for new drivers;
- Teens driving less overall;
- Graduated licensing programs, which limit the ability of teens to drive at night and restrict the number of teenage passengers; and
- Teens waiting until they are older to drive, reducing crash rates as youngest teen drivers are most at risk.
This data represents a huge leap forward in teen driver safety which has long been a major concern for parents and the public as a whole. Despite this tremendous improvement, teen drivers are still at risk of injury and death. According to a report provided by the CDC, motor vehicle deaths remain the leading cause of death for all 15 to 20 year olds. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of teen drivers are injured in accidents annually and thousands are tragically killed.
Safe Driving Tips for Teen Drivers
To further reduce the number of teen driver accidents, the following is a list of some tips, among many others, intended to keep young drivers safe:
- Keep your cell phone off: Distracted driving leads to thousands of teen car accidents each year. Driving while using a cell phone can be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Although texting while driving is illegal, many teens continue to engage in this risky behavior because the temptation is too great. As such, store your phone in a place where you will not be tempted to look at it, or in the alternative, turn it off while driving.
- Choose a safe car: This step has already led to decreased teen fatalities. It is important for teens to select a car with up-to-date safety features, including airbags and anti-lock brakes, as well as high crash safety ratings.
- Drive alone: Driving with a passenger who is not a parent when you are an inexperienced driver can contribute to accidents. Drive alone or with a parent so that you can focus on the road and avoid any temptations to speed or engage in other risky behaviors that passengers may bring.
- Obey the speed limit: Teens tend to drive too fast in an effort to show off to or keep up with vehicles around them. Avoid this temptation as speed equates to serious injuries or death.
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