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Officials Concerned Over Sudden Increase in Teen Driver Deaths

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on April 3, 2012

The number of teens who lost their lives on U.S. roads in 2011 jumped up over previous years, when it had been steadily declining, according to a study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). The sudden spike has many traffic safety officials concerned, since it deviates from the norm and means that more teenage drivers are dying and possibly injuring others on the road as a result.

Overall, the number of teen driver deaths increased 11 percent in 2011 over 2010. The increase in deaths was the highest for 16-year-old drivers, followed closely by deaths of 17-year-old drivers. Twenty-three states saw their teen driver death rates go up, and eight states and Washington, D.C. saw no changes. Nineteen states saw decreases, indicating that teen driver safety and training programs in these states may be doing something that works more effectively to protect teens than other states.

The GHSA notes that parents can help protect their teen drivers by setting rules for driving safety in Washington and being prepared to revoke a teen’s driving privileges if they are violated. These include prohibiting cell phone use while the teen is behind the wheel and limiting the number of passengers a teen may transport at any one time. Also, giving teens more practice time before allowing them to drive unsupervised provides crucial experience that can help them avoid a crash.

At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., our knowledgeable Bellevue auto accident attorneys strive to help injured persons and their families get the compensation they need, so that they can focus on healing. For a free case evaluation, call us today at (888) 228-3860.

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