WASHINGTON, D.C.— After nearly a decade of declining deaths for the nation’s newest drivers, a preliminary report on fatal accidents for 16 and 17-year-old drivers shows an 11% rise in the first half of 2011, according to a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
According to the report, the number of deaths rose from 190 in 2010 to 211 in 2011 – marking the end of an 8-year decline for deaths in this age group. The report data is gathered from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
In their first year on the road, there were 93 deaths of 16-year-old drivers in the first half of 2011, up 16% when compared to only 80 killed in 2010 for the same six-month period. Additionally, 118 drivers aged 17 years old were killed, a rise of 11% compared to 110 in the previous year for the same time period.
Twenty-three states reported increases, 19 had decreases, and eight states and the District of Columbia reported no change, the report said. The largest increases were reported in Florida, Texas and North Carolina.
“While it is good news that overall deaths appear to have declined during the first six months of 2011, we are concerned that the trend with teens is going in the opposite direction,” said Troy E. Costales, Chairman of GHSA. ”As the report notes, a widespread strengthening of laws is still possible and finding effective tools outside of GDL is an important goal. These include improving driver education and involving parents in proactively establishing safe driving habits for their teens.”
Personal Injury Attorney West Seegmiller, host of the West of Legal radio show on KFWB News 980 in Southern California is a father of five adult children.
“As a parent who has raised five teenagers I can tell you firsthand that we must educate our children about the dangers of driving, limit nighttime trips, distractions in the vehicle and take away cell phones and other gadgets teenagers use behind the wheel,” Seegmiller said.
The Seegmiller Law Firm can be reached at 1-855-ASK–WEST. For over 30 years, the firm has been a staunch advocate for victims’ rights and has fought for clients involved in personal injury and wrongful death cases, including premises liability, product liability, auto accidents, dog bites, nursing home negligence, medical malpractice, at-work injuries and more. The firm has offices in Irvine, Riverside, Los Angeles and San Bernardino, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.