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Tough teen driving laws could prevent 9,500 wrecks a year, study shows

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If each state implemented key components of the country’s toughest teen driver laws, more than 9,500 collisions could be prevented each year, according to a new analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).

The analysis was done to encourage improvement of graduated driver licensing provisions. The analysis also showed more than 500 lives could be saved every year, and some states could more than halve the rate of fatal crashes in 15-17-year-olds, according to a news release_notes from HLDI.

"Even the best states can do better," said Anne McCartt, senior vice president for research at HLDI. "There's room for improvement across the board, and states could see immediate reductions in fatal crashes and collision claims as soon as the beefed-up provisions are in force."

HLDI developed a new online calculator to show states how they could improve safety by adopting some or all of the key components of graduated driver licensing provisions. Those components are permit age; practice driving hours; license age; and night driving and teen passenger restrictions, according to the release.

No nationwide graduated drivers licensing system exists, and so the laws in each state vary.

"We encourage states to sharpen the core elements of their teen driver laws, particularly restrictions on night driving and young passengers," McCartt said.

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