Teen driver deaths up in 2012
The Governor’s Highway Safety Association studied car accidents for the first six months of 2012. Although the overall number of deaths of teen drivers decreased across the country over a ten-year period (since 2002), the numbers increased since 2010.
The study included 16 and 17-year-old drivers from January to June, 2012. In that period, 240 teenagers were killed while driving, a 19% increase from 2011. That’s also up from 190 deaths in 2010. This is far from the 544 teenagers who died in car accidents in 2002.
The states with the highest number in 2012 included Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Illinois and Kentucky. The state of Washington reported no deaths in the same period.
The study attributed the drop since 2002 to a number of factors. Almost three dozen states have passed cell phone and texting bans. All 50 states have passed Graduated Driver Licensing Laws than include curfews, restrict the number of passengers with a teen driver, and require parental supervision for a certain number of hours when first licensed. The economy has also contributed to a decrease in teen driving due to gas prices and unemployment.