Fatal car accidents increased for teenagers

Fatal car accidents increased for teen drivers last year, bucking a trend that lasted for over a decade. During the first six months of 2012, traffic fatalities increased by 19 percent for teen drivers ages 16 and 17, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Between January and June in 2012, 107 drivers who were 16 died in fatal car accidents. Fatalities also increased for 17-year-old drivers, with 133 drivers being killed in car accidents last year compared to 116 during the first six months of 2011.

Many of these traffic fatalities were attributed to distracted driving and driver inexperience. Safety groups said that the increased use of technology, especially by teenagers, has significantly contributed to the increase in fatal car accidents among teen drivers in the U.S.

Safety groups say that teen drivers are most likely to be killed in car accidents because of their driving inexperience and unsafe driving behaviors. The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety said that the increase in teenagers being killed in car accidents should show the importance of raising awareness to the dangers of distracted driving and force states to pass tougher teen driving laws.

Government reports show that fatal car accidents decreased among novice drivers during the past decade after many states passed strict driving laws that prohibited teen drivers from driving with other passengers and at nighttime.

Despite the previous decline in teens being killed in car accidents during the last decade, safety experts are unsure why fatal car accidents have now increased among 16-and17-year-olds but they do know that something needs to be done to prevent fatal car accidents from happening.

Source: Insurance Journal, “Teen Driver Deaths Increased in First Half of 2012,” Joan Lowy, Feb. 27, 2013