Traffic Deaths Spike for Teen Drivers
Fatalities for those ages 16, 17 rise 19%
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2013 4:28 PM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – An improving economy means more cars on the road, and traffic safety officials expected the number of deaths among young drivers to increase as a result. But not this much: The number of 16- and 17-year-old drivers killed in traffic accidents jumped 19% in the first six months of 2012, says a new report picked up by USA Today. That's double the rate of the overall population. Barring a remarkable turnaround when the stats come in for the final six months of the year, 2012 will mark the second straight year of an increase in deaths in the age group—2011 saw a 3% spike after eight years of declines.

One expert thinks gains realized from "graduated driver licensing" programs, in which states give teen drivers more freedom as they gain experience, are beginning to level off. Before blaming texting or other versions of distracted driving, note that death rates for teen drivers are still about half of what they were a decade ago, reports the Los Angeles Times. In all, 240 16- and 17-year-olds were killed on the road from January through June of last year.

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Showing 3 of 26 comments
BenDunn
Feb 27, 2013 12:04 PM CST
Obama should ban teenage drivers, this was sarcasm for those that might not get it.
Tology
Feb 27, 2013 8:50 AM CST
Oh, but they can text and drive just fine, they are multi taskers.
MaximusFubaris
Feb 27, 2013 5:34 AM CST
I read somewhere a while back about automotive deaths that about every few minutes, an average of 5 people are getting killed in automobile related accidents. Stop and think about it for a moment, you have a 2000 plus pound vehicle, movring down a highway at speeds from 60 to 90 mph, with a human being, most likely going to get distracted of err in some way, and crash head on into another solid object, coming, going, or standing still, and you have a recipe for disaster. Basically a ground missile with wiheels looking for a target.