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While younger drivers are less likely to drive after drinking, they had many more crashes when they did drink. Driver inexperience has been cited as the reason for the higher crash rates while drinking and driving. Teenagers are more likely to use cell phones while driving and cell phone use has been identified as a risk factor. Cell phone users are four times more likely to be in a serious accident. Drivers that use cell phones are more likely to crash than drunk drivers. When excessive speed, poor road conditions or an older car in disrepair is added to the equation, the risk index becomes dangerously high.

While some accidents are unavoidable, those that can be prevented, such as accidents caused by excessive speeding, alcohol use, and driver distractions such as cell phone use or texting need our continued attention. If you have a young driver in your house they are at an elevated risk level, especially sixteen year old drivers. Providing a high level of supervision during this time may be more important than ever before. Remember, all kids count.

Scot Hurlburt can be reached by e-mail at hurlburt@wildblue.net

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