The Governors Highway Safety Association has released statistics that indicate that more 16 and 17-year-old drivers have died in car accidents in the first half of 2012 in comparison to the number of fatalities to the first half of 2011.
The number of fatalities for this time period was 240, in comparison to 202 for the same time period in 2011. This information was developed by analyzing data from the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Prior to this report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that the number of traffic deaths had increased by 8 percent. However, the rate of deaths for 16 and 17 year-olds has increased by 19 percent. The most recent report revealed that 25 states saw an increase for this age group while 17 states realized a decreased rate of fatalities.
Researchers have different theories for why the numbers have increased. For example, graduated driver licensing laws may not be as effective now because they have been established for years. An improving economy may be leading to more teens on the roadways than in previous years. Another possibility is that an increasing number of deaths may be attributed to distracted driving.
Researchers and lawmakers are urging for people to take steps to decrease the rate of teen driver deaths. Some suggestions include improving driver education programs and ensuring new drivers have access to educational programs that are scientifically backed to support these programs. Another suggestion is to work on decreasing distracted driving. Parents are also urged to model good driving behavior as many teens report that they copy the behavior that they see their parents exercising.
Parents may be able to help the process by teaching their teens safe driving techniques. They can also teach teens to buckle up before they start a vehicle and emphasize the importance of driving at slower speeds. When on the roadways, parents can demonstrate to their children the need to stay at least two vehicles’ distance from the nearest vehicle.
Parents may also want to establish rules regarding the number of passengers who are allowed in the vehicle as statistics indicate an increased number of accidents occur when there are more passengers in a vehicle operated by a teen driver. Parents can also establish rules regarding cell phone use while driving.
Injured by a Teen Driver? Put Our Injury Law Team to Work for You!
When a distracted teen driver causes an accident, a Tampa injury lawyer may be able to assist the victims of the accident. If you’ve been seriously injured due to another driver’s negligence, call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-813-324-5202.