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The future is bright for reducing teen crash risk
Given the dominance of private motor vehicles as the primary mode of transportation in the United States, and the country’s long romance with cars and roads, it is not surprising that obtaining a drivers license is an important milestone in the lives of most teenagers. However, driving is a dangerous activity, even for experienced drivers and particularly for young, inexperienced drivers. The dominance of motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of injury and death among teenagers is well established, and the timing is right for a review of the current status of research on young drivers. Fortunately, support from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the Office of Research and Traffic Records of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), made it possible to organize an expert conference on the topic, which was held at the Airlie Conference Center in Northern Virginia, March 27–29, 2002.
The purpose of the Young Driver Expert Conference was to provide a forum for in-depth discussions about teenage driving and how best to reduce risk of motor vehicle crashes among novice drivers. To bring focus to the discussions, experts were asked to write the papers contained in this supplement issue of Injury Prevention. Drafts of the papers were prepared in advance of the conference and shared with the participants. For each paper, a qualified expert was invited to serve as a discussant and subsequently to submit a short discussion paper for inclusion in the supplement. This forum provided for a lively and insightful discussion. Each participant was selected based on his or her relevant expertise; read the papers in advance; prepared a …