Fatal crashes involving 16- to 17-year-old drivers decline: study

The annual number of 16- and 17-year-old drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes decreased by 36 percent from 2004 to 2008, according to a report released Oct. 21 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A CDC press release stated the number of fatalities among that group of drivers dropped to 1,437 in 2008 from 2,230 in 2004. The report also showed death rates associated with the teen crashes varied widely -- 9.7 per 100,000 crashes in New York and New Jersey to 59.6 per 100,000 crashes in Wyoming.

Researchers gave partial credit for the decline to states that enacted Graduated Driver Licensing policies. GDL laws, which limit driving under high-risk conditions for newly licensed drivers, exist in 49 states and the District of Columbia.

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