Number of fatal car accidents involving teen drivers down

December 20, 2010

The Huffington Post reports that a new study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that there has been a significant decrease in the number of fatal car accidents involving teens. Studies also show that the reason is not because teenagers are being safer, but rather because laws are tougher and cars and highways are safer.

The CDS looked at accidents involving 16 and 17-year-old, and noted that there were more than 9,600 car accidents including 11,000 deaths between 2004 and 2008. The study showed a 31% decrease in the number of teen deaths during the 5 year span. In Florida alone, the number dropped from 140 in 2004 to 110 in 2008.

The main reason for the decline is laws regarding when teens can drive and when they can carry passengers, not that they are being more responsible. Like many other states across the country, Florida has created a graduated driver license system for teen drivers which requires them to be at least 15 years of age to qualify for the learners permit.

Additionally, prior to application for the learner license, the teen driver must complete a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education course. After receiving the learner license, the teen driver may only drive during daylight hours for the first 90 days and up to 10:00 pm after the 90 days has passed with an adult 21 years or older present. Even after receiving their license, they are only allowed to drive between 6:00 am and 11:00 p.m. at 16 and between 5:00 a.m and 1:00 a.m. once they turn 17.

However, car accidents remain the leading cause of death among teenagers. Taking teenage drivers out of the most hazardous situations such as driving at night or with other teens in the car seems to reduce the occurrence of teen driving fatalities.

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