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Nationwide Drop in Number of Fatal Teen Car Accidents

As National Teen Driver Safety Week comes to an end, there is good news to report. According to a national study, the number of car accidents involving teen drivers has gone down.

Research shows at least a 30 percent drop in the past five years in the number of teenagers involved in car crashes. Even more encouraging is the fact that the number of teen car accidents has decreased nearly 50 percent since 1996. Fatal car accidents are currently the number one cause of death for teens.

Several factors could have contributed to this decline. Many states now have stricter laws for drivers, such as bans on texting and phone calls while behind the wheel. States also have laws that restrict the initial amount of driving a teen can do, until they have more experience driving.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, parents play an important role in teaching their kids about safe driving. When teenagers first start out behind the wheel, they have little experience dealing with hazards on the road, such as a reckless driver. Parents should be in the car with their children as they practice driving.

For all drivers, it is also important to remember that driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol can lead to accidents. The consequences can be deadly for victims and costly for those who choose to drive while intoxicated.

Remember, encouraging safe driving can help decrease the number of fatal car accidents involving teens. Anything from reminding them to buckle their seatbelts to explaining the consequences of drinking and driving can help make the roads safer for all.

Source: Reuters, "Teen car crashes on the decline," 21 October 2010

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