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Published on Feb 27, 2013 by Edgar Snyder

Teen Driving Deaths Increase After Decade of Decline

behind the wheel

The number of teens killed in car accidents increased sharply in the first half of 2012, according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association. This ended a decade-long trend of steady declines.

According to the report:

  • Deaths of 16- and 17-year old drivers rose a combined 19 percent since 2011.
  • There were 107 16-year-old drivers killed in car accidents between January and June 2012, compared to 86 drivers during the same period in 2011.
  • There were 133 17-year-old drivers killed in car accidents between January and June 2012, compared to 116 drivers during the same period in 2011.
  • Twenty-five states reported increases, 17 had decreases and eight states and the District of Columbia reported no change.
  • There were 435 16-year-old drivers killed in all of 2000. That number dropped to 173 by 2011.

Although significant efforts have been made to protect younger drivers, one official said that "teens remain [the] most vulnerable population." The same official suspects that the rising number of deaths could be the result of distracted driving involving a driver preoccupied by some form of technology.

The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety insist that this rising number should encourage lawmakers to make passing stronger teen driving laws a priority.

A report by the National Safety Council states that in addition to the increase in teen driving deaths, all traffic fatalities rose by 5 percent, the first increase since 2005.

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Source: "Deaths of Teen Drivers Jumped in Early 2012." ABC News. February 26, 2013.
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