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Study: Lives Could Be Saved by Tougher Teen Driving Laws

A recent study indicates that tougher restrictions on teen drivers could save approximately 2,000 lives per year. The study was conducted by the National Safety Council and concluded that the adoption of more “graduated driver licensing” laws would greatly improve traffic safety throughout the country by reducing the number of teen car accidents.

Traffic accidents are the primary killer of teens across the country and teens are more likely to be involved in a car accident than other groups of drivers. Fortunately, the majority of California teen driving accidents are related to driver inexperience, which is something that could be fixed with more training, experts say.

Approximately 81,000 people died in car crashes involving teen drivers between 2000 and 2009. The vice president of public social responsibility for insurance giant Allstate, which funded the NSC report, called teen driving deaths “a real public health crisis.”

Graduated driver licensing laws help to decrease teen car accidents by prohibiting teens from driving in high-risk situations, such as at night or with too many people in the car. Some studies have found that strict GDL laws are effective and save lives, but some critics believe that these laws do not increase the overall teen car crash rate, but instead just push the rate of crashes from 15 and 16-year-olds to 17 and 18-year-olds.

Source: MSNBC, “Study: Tougher teen driving laws would save lives, money,” M. Alex Johnson, Dec. 6, 2011