National Teen Driver Safety Week Begins Today

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is reminding the public that National Teen Driver Safety Week begins today and runs through Oct. 25. According to CDC, in 2006, a total of 4,144 teens aged 16-19 years old died, and nearly 400,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained in motor-vehicle crashes in the United States.

CDC said comprehensive graduated driver licensing systems can reduce fatal and nonfatal injury crashes of drivers aged 16 years by as much as 38 and 40 percent, respectively, by delaying full driving privileges so that teens can gain driving experience under low-risk conditions. In addition, CDC said extending the learner permit period, restricting night-time driving, and limiting teen passengers each contribute to crash reductions. Raising the minimum drinking age to 21 years and enforcing "zero" blood alcohol levels for teen drivers also have reduced motor-vehicle-related deaths and injuries.

Information about teen driver safety and National Teen Driver Safety Week are available from CDC at www.cdc.gov/ncipc/duip/spotlite/teendrivers.htm.

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