It's no secret that newly minted teen drivers put themselves and others at risk when they get behind the wheel. The combination of inexperience, a still-developing ability to make sound decisions, and a 4,000-pound car can be a deadly one--literally. Car accidents are the biggest killers of teenagers.
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About a third of these fatal crashes happen at night, which is why 49 out of 50 states restrict the hours that a teenager can drive without an adult. (Vermont is the only exception.) But the restrictions start at midnight for nearly half of these states, and according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that's a problem.
Researchers at the CDC found that a whopping 57 percent of those deadly crashes happen before midnight. So experts there recommend pushing back the nighttime restriction to 9 or 10 PM--and some argue for a curfew at 8 PM. That way, teens can practice driving in the dark with a parent until they're more skilled. Of course, it means that mom or dad may still have to go pick up their high-schoolers after dark, but it may be a small sacrifice to make to save lives.
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