Study shows restrictions boost safety among newly licensed drivers

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Your teenager isn’t going to like this.

Restrictions on when teens can drive – and with whom – can save lives.

Tim Moore, a Purdue University economics professor, found that a ban on new drivers carrying multiple passengers at night reduced crashes, injuries and deaths.

The findings, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, support restrictions saying younger drivers can’t drive late at night or early in the morning.

Moore and co-author Todd Morris of the Max Planck Institute for Social Law studied a 2007 ban in Australia that prohibits drivers younger than 21 from carrying multiple passengers from 11 p.m. to 4:59 a.m.

The law caused a 58% drop in hospitalizations and fatalities per 100,000 first-year drivers, according to the study.

There also are longer-term effects.

“We find significant reductions in nighttime multi-passenger crashes in the second year and third years of driving,” Moore said in a statement. “We see no differences beyond the third year, but by that time teens have become much safer drivers – their crash rates are one-fifth those of first-year drivers.”

More than 16,000 teens in the U.S. die each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Car crashes make up about a third of all deaths.

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