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Fatal Crash Rate Drops for 16 and 17-year-olds

A report released on Thursday brought a bit of good news for state legislators who have pushed hard for tighter restrictions on teenage drivers. According to the study, between 2004 and 2008, the number of 16 and 17-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes decreased from 2,200 to 1,400.

The 36 percent drop was largely attributed to tougher driving laws.

However, the report focused on national statistics, meaning that the drop in traffic-related deaths was more or less representative of the numbers in specific states. In Maryland, where texting is banned for all drivers and cell phones are banned for drivers under the age of 18, overall fatalities dropped between 2004 and 2008.

Other laws, such as graduated driver licensing, are also cited in the study as having a positive effect on the rate of driving deaths.

Even for this bit of good news, in Maryland and elsewhere, teen drivers continue to face steep odds when it comes to crash rates. Nationally, teenagers are still the group most in peril on the roads and, even with the drop in fatal accidents, the number of teens killed on the road every year is staggering.

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