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Unlicensed Teens In More Crashes

Potentially preventable.

Potentially preventable.

PHILADELPHIA PA – Unlicensed teen drivers are less safe on the road than their legally licensed peers, a new study concludes, and it also says they are responsible for a disproportionate number of fatal crashes.

About 6 percent of students in grades 9-11 say they’ve driven cars unsupervised and without a license, but 20 percent of the same group was blamed for auto accidents in which someone died, according to research conducted by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the State Farm Insurance Companies. An article on their findings was published Monday (Nov. 3, 2008) in the journal Pediatrics.

“Unlicensed teens are more likely to report not wearing a seat belt, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and driving without a purpose, behaviors known to be associated with fatal crashes,” said study co-author Dr. Flaura Koplin Winston.

Demographically, the study indicates, teens who live in central city or rural areas and fall within specific ethnic groups were most likely to say they drive without a license at least one hour per week. Knowing which teens drive without a license makes it possible to educate them and hopefully prevent other deaths, according to Laurette Stiles, State Farm vice president of strategic resources.

State Farm agents closest to Sanatoga village center are George Wausnock, 1304 High St., Pottstown PA, and Dick Weber, 631 High St., Pottstown PA.

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