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Contemplating ways to lower teen crash rates

It is widely understood that teens face a greater risk of dying in a crash during the first year they are licensed drivers than at any other point in their careers as motorists. As a result, auto manufacturers, safety organizations and lawmakers at both the federal and state levels are consistently searching for new ways to protect novice drivers.

One of the most widely accepted methods of lowering motor vehicle accidents involving teen drivers is enacting graduated driver’s license programs. GDL programs embrace numerous restrictions on teen drivers. These restrictions are gradually loosened as teens gain experience. It seems now that GDL programs that do not already feature strict night driving restrictions should be reformed.

According to a recently released study, fatal accident and seriously injurious accident rates dropped significantly in one U.S. state after that state imposed significant night driving restrictions for teens. Six years after this restriction was first imposed, fatal and otherwise serious crashes involving teen drivers aged 16 and 17 fell by a staggering 40 percent, according to the study.

It can sometimes be truly difficult to determine which reforms may change dangerous situations for the better. However, when it comes to fatal and serious accident rates involving teen drivers, it seems that one necessary reform is clear. If you are a concerned parent and you live in an area that does not mandate night driving restrictions for teens, please consider imposing your own restrictions at home and working with your state legislators to get a wider restriction passed.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, “Tougher Night Driving Rules for Teens May Lower Crash Rates,” Robert Preidt, June 8, 2015

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