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Report: Young driver fatality rates have fallen sharply in the US, helped by education, technology
A new report says that crash and fatality rates among drivers under 21 have fallen dramatically in the U.S. during the past 20 years but young drivers are still the riskiest group behind the wheel
NEW YORK (AP) — Crash and fatality rates among drivers under 21 have fallen dramatically in the U.S. during the past 20 years, a new report says, while noting young drivers are still the riskiest group behind the wheel.
Using data from 2002-2021, a non-profit group of state highway safety offices says in the report made public Wednesday that fatal crashes involving a young driver fell by 38%, while deaths of young drivers dropped even more, by about 45%. For drivers 21 and older, fatal crashes rose 8% and deaths rose 11%.
The report from the Governors Highway Safety Association acknowledges that young people are driving less than they were 20 years ago, but highlights several other reasons for the improvement, while offering recommendations for building on them.
State programs that phase in driving privileges were at the top of the list. These programs, called graduated drivers license laws, often restrict or ban certain activities, such as driving at night or with peers, for teens. The GHSA suggests strengthening those programs and even expanding them to cover drivers 18 to 20 years old, like Maryland and New Jersey do.