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National Teen Driver Safety Week --- October 17--23, 2010

In 2009, approximately 3,000 teens aged 15--19 years, died in motor vehicle crashes, approximately 500 fewer deaths than occurred in 2008 in this age group (1). During 2004--2008, the percentage of drivers aged 16--17 years involved in fatal crashes decreased by 36% (2). Despite these encouraging trends, motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens.

Graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs are widely credited with contributing to recent declines in teen crash fatalities. Evaluations of GDL have demonstrated a 20%--40% reduction in crash risk for the youngest drivers (3). GDL programs provide longer practice periods, limit driving under high-risk conditions for newly licensed drivers, and require greater participation of parents in their teens' learning-to-drive process. This year, during National Teen Driver Safety Week, CDC is launching a new campaign, Parents Are the Key, to inform parents how they can help protect the safety of their teen drivers. Campaign materials are available at http://www.cdc.gov/parentsarethekey. CDC also has released the issue brief Policy Impact: Teen Driver Safety, which is available at http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teenbrief.

Additional information regarding National Teen Driver Safety Week is available from CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/index.html and from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at http://www.nhtsa.gov/Teen-Drivers.

References

  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) encyclopedia. Available at http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov. Accessed October 14, 2010.
  2. CDC. Drivers aged 16 or 17 years involved in fatal crashes---United States, 2004--2008. MMWR 2010;59:1329--34.
  3. Shope J. Graduated driver licensing: review of evaluation results since 2002. J Safety Res 2007;38:165--75.


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