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All Press Releases for November 16, 2010 »
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Teen Accident Deaths on Decline Despite Mobile-Phone Use

Surprisingly, fatalities from car accidents -- the leading cause of death for teens in the United State -- are on the decline for teen drivers, despite alcohol, distraction and lack of road experience.
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    November 16, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Teen Accident Deaths on Decline Despite Mobile-Phone Use

Motor-vehicle accidents -- not drugs or diseases -- are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. Despite alcohol, distraction and lack of experience contributing to the causes of accidents for this age group, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently reported a decline in fatal crashes among these youngest drivers.

As part of its study, the CDC analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA's) Fatality Analysis Report System (FARS). Reviewing fatality data for 2004 through 2008, the CDC examined reports of the 9,494 fatal crashes involving drivers aged 16 and 17 to identify trends as well as assess risks. Of the more than 11,000 people who died in these crashes, over 37 percent were drivers aged 16 or 17. The data also revealed that fatal traffic crashes had declined by about 36 percent annually for drivers in this age group.

The CDC thinks the decline in teen traffic statistics can be attributed to several factors. Decreases in travel as a result of rising gasoline prices and adverse economic conditions are two of those major factors. In troubled economic times, youth have limited funds and cut back on travel and/or delay obtaining their driver's licenses.

While the information seems to indicate that teen drivers are now safer drivers, distracted and impaired driving still remain major safety and public health issues associated with our nation's younger drivers. Newswires regularly report cases of teen crashes linked to texting or cell-phone use, and recent studies reveal that teens are texting more than ever before. With more than 20 percent of traffic accidents linked to distracted driving, youth texting habits are more concerning.

Air-bag regulations and other safety requirements can only do so much to keep young drivers safe. They need to realize that their risky driving habits -- such as texting behind the wheel -- place them and others in danger. As states continue to pass texting bans that some experts argue are ineffective, federal and state administrators may need to consider new measures to promote safe driving habits for the more inexperienced drivers on the roadways.

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