Teen car crash fatalities continue to decline

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It’s possible that the recent graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs are responsible for a decline in car crash fatalities involving teen drivers, according to a new CDC report released yesterday. The report shows that the number of fatal car crashes by 16- and 17-year-old U.S. drivers, mostly male, decreased nationwide by 36 percent — from 2,230 to 1,437 — between 2004 and 2008. The frequency of vehicular deaths involving teens varied by states, with New York having the lowest incidence at 9.7 deaths per 100,000 crashes and Wyoming the highest with 59.6 per 100,000. GDL policies require new drivers to abide by restricted curfews and refrain from having teen passengers in their vehicles until they reach the age of 18. In the U.S., traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers.

“This is a remarkable public health achievement,” says ACSH’s Dr. Gilbert Ross.