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Teen drivers in four times more crashes

A study released Thursday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says teen drivers aged 16-19 years old delete are four times as likely to be involved in fatal crashes than older drivers.

The report shows why auto insurance companies are trying to get stricter licensing laws passed in the states for teen drivers. States with graduated licensing laws reduce crashes by teen drivers by 10-30 percent, the report said.

There were 4,342 deaths of people of all ages in crashes involving teen drivers in 2007, but states that have adopted graduated systems that phase in driving by young beginners can reduce fatalities and insurance losses.

The report also said cars equipped with a monitoring device that allow teens' parents to see driving behavior reduce the risk of crashes.

There are a variety of monitoring devices available commercially. These devices record data about specific actions such as quick starts and stops, abrupt lane changes and cornering, speed, and safety belt use.

Some devices offer global positioning system (GPS) capabilities so parents can pinpoint in real time where their teenagers are driving and even limit where they travel.

Others provide audio, visual or verbal warnings if driving should be corrected.

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