Teen driving is taking a toll – a toll on the lives of the teenage drivers themselves, that is. From January to June 2011, there was an 11 percent increase in fatal car accidents involving 16- and 17-year-old drivers, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
While the statistics for the remaining six months of 2011 are not compiled yet, data trends suggest that the overall increase for the year actually might be much higher than 11 percent. (Especially because car accident data from past years reveals that more fatal teen car accidents occur from July to December.)
According to the statistics, 23 states saw an increase in deadly teen driving crashes. Texas came in number sixth, with a 4 percent increase. While the increased percentage was not the highest, the actual number of teen deaths was.
Because Texas saw the deaths of 26 drivers ages 16 and 17 in a mere six months, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) once again started running it’s “Teen Click it or Ticket” campaign. Statewide, the campaign has activities at over 700 high schools and colleges that are focused on increasing awareness about using seatbelts and teen driving safety.
The increasing number of teen driving deaths in 2011 follows a period of declining fatality numbers. It may be early to draw conclusions about the sudden increase, but a number of experts think that it could be due to the economy. In the last few years, many teens delayed getting their driver’s licenses and fewer had access to cars – fewer teen drivers, fewer teen car accidents.
Related resource: KDAF.com, “Texas teen drivers among the worst in the nation.”