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Teen driving getting better, improvement still needed

Posted on in Car Accidents

Most of the time, news reports show the increased dangers on the road and the resulting traffic fatalities. However, in a rare report of good news, studies found that teen driving may be getting safer and fewer fatal accidents involving teens have been reported.

A new study by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm reported a decline in car accidents involving teens due to more safety programs and laws limiting how many passengers a teenager can have in their vehicle as well as increased parental involvement in developing safe driving behaviors.

The study reported an overall decline in fatal car accidents involving teenagers, citing several reasons for the decline. Some of the most promising findings of the study were that fewer teen drivers were killed in car accidents in 2011 compared to 2008, showing a 28 percent decrease in teen traffic fatalities.

Reasons cited for fewer fatal car accidents were that teen drivers are taking fewer risks behind the wheel. The study found that more teenagers are wearing seat belts, teens who rode with another teen driver who had been drinking decreased by 14 percent and fatal car accidents involving teens not wearing their seat belts declined by 23 percent.

While these are all good statistics showing an increase in safe teen driving behaviors, there are still some dangerous behaviors teen drivers need to improve. More teen drivers need to wear their seat belt when driving or in a vehicle. The study reported that 58 percent of teen drivers killed in car accidents were not wearing their seat belts.

In addition, 52 percent of teen drivers were killed due to speeding. Teen drivers also need to be aware of the dangers of texting while driving, with 33 percent of teen drivers admitting to sending a text message or email while behind the wheel.

The study showed some good signs that teen driving is becoming safer but there are still many areas that need to be improved to truly make an impact on reducing fatal car accidents involving teen drivers.

Source: EHS Today, "Infographic: Trends in Teen Driver Safety," Laura Walter, April 8, 2013

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