Good News, Bad News About Teen Driving Deaths

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The number of 16 and 17-year-olds dying in car crashes went down 36 percent from 2004 to 2008.

The overall number of teens dying on the road has steadily decreased since 1996, according to research compiled in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), released in October by the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention.

But there’s still bad news. Car accidents remain the leading cause of teen deaths, accounting for 1/3 of teen fatalities every year.

So, what’s driving the decline? The study shows that graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs in 49 states provide teens with extensive training and restrict them from driving at night or driving with passengers.

Georgia has Joshua’s Law, which says all 16-year-olds must complete an approved driver education course and 40 hours of supervised driving with a parent or guardian, including 6 hours of night driving.

For MMWR’s full article, click here.

To read about Joshua’s Law, click here.

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