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Cost of Teen Driving Hits $34 Billion, Says AAA

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AAA says the cost associated with teen drivers in accidents has hit $34 billion annually.

The motoring organization conducted an analysis for the first time ever on the bill rung up when teen drivers have accidents. It tallied up more than $34 billion annually in medical expenses, lost work, property damage, quality of life loss, and other related costs in 2006 alone (calculated by a broad range of databases and researches).

The group says it's examining comprehensive graduated driver licensing (GDL) as the next step to teen driving safety. A comprehensive GDL system would ease teens into driving through even more mandatory practice, AAA says, and restrictions limiting teen driving at night and with passengers could help reduce fatal teen crashes by an average 38 percent.

AAA President and CEO, Robert L. Darbelnet said, “These economic figures provide one more reason for legislators to improve graduated driver licensing in their states - a proven measure governments can take to reduce the deadly toll of teen driver crashes.”

AAA is encouraging the states to improve their current GDL systems to help reduce the number of teen crashes. Darbelnet said, “States that improve their graduated driver licensing programs will reduce crashes, injuries, and deaths for road users of all ages and reduce crash-related costs that are paid by the state, too.”

What do you think about graduated licensing? Is it the law in your state - and does it really help improve teen driving and road safety? Tell us in a comment below.
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Comments (3)
  1. If you want to see improvement, you need to NOT award licences to retards after only 5 or 10 lessons, you need to offer a 42-hour driving course in all schools. AND Enforce the drunk driving laws HARD.
     
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  2. I'd like to see some more tech improvements to help on the teen driver safety front. Offer a teen key that sends a signal to the computer that limits the vehicle's top speed. I'm sure plenty of parents would spring for that option. Of course this has to be in addition to the more important steps of proper education and parental discipline.
     
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  3. I think we need to start teaching these kids how to drive instead of limiting them on where and when. Once these kids get pass that age of limits they are still the bad drivers we limited two years before. Some where I saw a study that showed a decline like 30% in the 16 to 18 yrs old accidents and a bigger raise (40%) in the 19 to 24 yr old rates. This was in a state that had graduated licensing. I think it was California. IO wonder how much money they could save by teaching people how to drive.
    I think it would be better to have a device to shuts off a cell phone once you turn the key. I see so many kids driving while talking on the phone.. And yesterday saw a kid riding his bicycle while talking on the phone..
     
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