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National Teen Driver Safety Week --- October 19--25, 2008

October 19--25 is National Teen Driver Safety Week. In 2006, a total of 4,144 teens aged 16--19 years died, and nearly 400,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained in motor-vehicle crashes in the United States (1,2).

By delaying full driving privileges so that teens can gain driving experience under low-risk conditions, comprehensive graduated driver licensing systems can reduce fatal and nonfatal injury crashes of drivers aged 16 years by as much as 38% and 40%, respectively (3). Extending the learner permit period, restricting night-time driving, and limiting teen passengers each contribute to crash reductions (4). Raising the minimum drinking age to 21 years and enforcing "zero" blood alcohol levels for teen drivers also have reduced motor-vehicle--related deaths and injuries. (5).

Information about teen driver safety and National Teen Driver Safety Week are available from CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/duip/spotlite/teendrivers.htm, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia at http://stokes.chop.edu/programs/injury/our_research/ydri.php.

References

  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) encyclopedia. Available at http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov.
  2. CDC. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Available at http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars.
  3. Baker SP, Chen L, Li G. Nationwide review of graduated driver licensing. Washington, DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety; 2007. Available at http://www.aaafoundation.org/pdf/nationwidereviewofgdl.pdf.
  4. Williams AF. Contribution of the components of graduated licensing to crash reductions. J Safety Research 2007;38:177--84.
  5. Shults RA, Elder RW, Sleet DA, et al. Reviews of evidence regarding interventions to reduce alcohol-impaired driving. Am J Prev Med 2001;21(4S):66--88.

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Date last reviewed: 10/15/2008

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