The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)released a report today which says that despite popular belief,fewer young drivers died in car accidents in 2003 than the yearbefore, although the total was 429 more than a decade earlier.
An increase in the number of miles traveledwas cited as one of the reason fatalities among drivers ages 15 to20 rose from 1993 to 2003. According to the report, fatalitiesdeclined 170 or 4.4 percent with 3, 657 drivers dying in 2003 and3, 827 the year prior. The 1993 figure was 3, 228 deaths or 13percent less than last year.
The executive director of the GovernorsHighway Safety Association, Barbara Harsha, told reporters that thedecline can possibly be attributed to a change in the tactics usedin driver education classes. Furthermore, the government noted that72 percent of people aged 16 to 24 wore their seat belts last yearcompared with only 65 percent in 2002. This year, alcoholinvolvement declined, being a factor in only 25 percent of fatalcrashes.
Although the report shed a lot of positivelight on this topic, there was not improvement among all groups.The report found that the number of female drivers involved infatal car crashes has increased from 25 percent in 1993 to 28 in2003, which is a rate of growth faster than their malecounterparts.
The chief of the NHTSA, Dr. Jeffrey Rungesuggests that parents discourage nighttime driving amongst youthand also suggests limiting the number of passengers in a youngdriver’s car as studies have shown that this techniquedecreases the likelihood of an accident.
A documentary about teenage drivers willbe distributed to 7,500 high schools by members of a safetycampaign sponsored by the government, recording artists andAthletes Against Drunk Driving.