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Federal officials focus on teen driving regulations

For young, healthy teenagers setting out at the beginning of their adult lives, the ones that are cut short are most often due to a car accident. In fact, it is the number one cause of death for those from the age of 15 to 19. Per year, approximately 3,000 teenagers are killed in a motor vehicle accident. Not only are teens most at risk for being involved in an accident, but they are more likely to be the cause of the accident -- four times more likely than adult drivers.

Teen driving has remained a focus of safety advocates in the recent past, and the focus has yet to recede. No one is blaming the youngsters as being "bad kids," but they are simply saying that even some of the best kids can be some of the most distracted. They are young and they are inexperienced. Not only are they trying to control the car while remembering what they learned in Diver's Education, but they often have trouble controlling their passengers.

Some states have a passenger restriction. The passenger restriction is part of the distracted driving reduction effort. Although the passenger restriction has nothing to do with cellphones -- the usual focus of distracted driving -- it is just as important. A teen's peers are as big of a distraction as electronics and are often even harder to control than their cellphone. Some teens are afraid to speak up, some teens want to fit in and others don't care, but that is just one more distraction in an already distracting atmosphere.

In our next part of this two-part series, we'll look at some of the restrictions state and federal officials have enacted or are calling for in the future.

Source: Kaiser Health News, "New Federal Transportation Law Encourages Stricter Teen Driving Regs," Michelle Andrews, July 30, 2012

If your teen has been injured in a car accident or you have been injured by a teen driver, our New Jersey car accident page provides more information about distracted driving collisions.

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