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Improving Teen Driving Safety, Part II

As we blogged about in our previous post, the number one cause of deaths among teens is automobile accidents. But statistics show that states with graduated driver's license (GDL) programs have fewer incidents of accidents involving teen drivers.

Right now, the pitch for a nationwide program is a work in progress, with some states having adopted most of the restrictions while other states have implemented as little as one.

The GDL's vice president told msnbc.com that even if states with few of the program's components adopted one or two more, lives would be spared. Based on research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, with the approval of each component, deaths would be reduced by an additional 4 percent.

The cost savings, on the other hand, was determined by the safety council's own yearly data on crashes with teenage drivers. Included in the $13 billion projection were medical expenses, wage and insurance losses, vehicle and property damage, expenditures to employers for lost productivity and emergency medical responder and police costs. Based on the totals, teen accidents cost the country $38.3 billion annually, the report says.

According to msnbc.com, Congress is moving nearer to picking up legislation to reauthorize federal highway spending. Generally, the highway bills include new national roadway safety laws.

If the National Safety Council gets its wish, teen driving will be among the top issues within Congress' focus.

Related resource: MSNBC.com, "Study: Tougher teen driving laws would save lives, money."

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