Essay

How to save the life of a young driver

Doctors in states without graduated licensure can make a difference by insisting on restrictions.

“So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)Sixteen years as a teacher and practitioner of emergency medicine at Yale have taught me that there is no greater tragedy than the loss of a child, and no more difficult duty for a physician than to deliver unthinkable news to disbelieving parents.Ironically, parents fear dangers unlikely to affect their children, such as kidnapping or murder, while neglecting a far greater menace: motor vehicle trauma. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages 16 to 20, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), where I recently completed a two-year fellowship. The Centers for...

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