The CDC has just released a report on the decline of fatal automobile accidents involving teenage drivers age 16 to 17. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teens in the US, accounting for about 1/3 of all teen deaths. The study reviewed FARS (Fatality Analysis Report System) data from each state from the years 2004 to 2008 and a sharp decline in the number of fatal car wrecks involving young drivers. According to the report, during that time period 9,644 passenger vehicle drivers aged 16 or 17 were involved in fatal crashes. Sixty-five percent (65%) of the drivers in these fatal crashes were male. Further, thirty-six percent (36%) of the drivers in this group were found to be speeding at the time of the wreck. Ultimately, this report found that the national rate for drivers aged 16 or 17 years involved in fatal crashes declined 38% from 2004 to 2008. Researchers believe this decline is due in part to new tougher graduated driver’s license laws for teenagers, restrictions on cell phone usage, seat belt usage and a rise in gas prices.
While we certainly believe this is step in the right direction, there are still too many teen deaths on Alabama Highways. In 2008, a total of 38 teenagers age 16 or 17 lost their lives in Alabama car accidents. For more information on Alabama’s new graduated driver’s license law see our previous blog article: Alabama Graduated Driver License Law.