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Preventing teens from getting into car accidents in Michigan

It is a major rite of passage for teenagers here in Michigan to obtain their drivers' licenses. However, the unfortunate truth according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S. In fact, in 2010 every single day seven teens between the ages of 16 and 19 died in a car accident. And, not only are ill-prepared teen drivers a risk to themselves but they can also present a major danger to everyone else on the roads.

Many states are making efforts to make sure teens are better trained before they are out on U.S. roads unsupervised. Here in Michigan, the graduated driver's license is meant to restrict teens' driving rights and exposure to risks until they gain more experience behind the wheel. Other states have taken different measures to prevent teens from causing fatal car accidents and car accidents involving injuries, including one state whose new law was very controversial but has proven effective.

We are talking about New Jersey, where two years ago lawmakers moved to require teenagers driving with provisional licenses to display red decals on their license plates. The practice is quite common in Europe, but so far this is the only state in the U.S. to try the accident-prevention method.

While critics of the red decals say the practice puts teens at an increased risk of being identified by kidnappers, predators and other criminals, according to recent statistics, the red stickers have prevented more than 1,600 car accidents. Additionally, police citations on teen driving restrictions have increased by 14 percent, seemingly because it is easier for police to quickly identify teen drivers.

The results of this program are very interesting, as of course it should be a top priority to curb car accidents. However, nobody wants to replace the risk of getting into a car accident by heightening the risk of becoming a victim of crime. But, what do you think? Would red stickers be a good way to prevent teenagers from getting into car accidents here in Michigan?

Source: NewsWorks, "Study: 'Red decal' for young N.J. drivers has lowered accident rates," Oct. 24, 2012

Source: CDC, "Injury Prevention & Control: Motor Vehicle Safety," Oct. 2, 2012

  • Our law firm helps car accident victims hold negligent drivers accountable and obtain compensation. More information about this area of our practice is available on our Ann Arbor Car Accidents page.

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