Fatal Accidents with Teenagers on the Rise

Fatal teen accident statistics
Fatal accidents involving teenage drivers dramatically increased in 2012, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. In a new report, deaths of teen drivers increased 19% in the first six months of 2012 and more than doubled the percentage for the whole year. There were 240 fatal accidents involving 16 and 17-year-old drivers in the first half of 2012, while in that same period of 2011, there 202.

Related: Phone Apps To Prevent Distracted Driving

In 2011, fatal accidents of teenage drivers rose 3%, ending eight years of consecutive declines. That makes 2012 the second year in a row we’ve seen an increase in deadly accidents for teens. The GHSA also concluded that the spike was likely caused by the improving economy and the leveling off of the safety benefits from graduated driver licensing programs. Regardless of the reasons, we know that deaths of 16-year-olds jumped an astonishing 24% in 2012 in just the first six months alone. The number of 17-year-olds rose 15% for a cumulative increase of 19%. Overall, 25 states had increases, 17 had drops and eight states had no change.

Teen driving facts
Here are some startling facts about teenage drivers and some of the reasons for the increase in accidents:

  • Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers.
  • Teenagers in the United States account for 10% of the population and 12% of the car accidents.
  • It is worse for the 15-24-year-old age group. This group makes up approximately 14% of the U.S. population and accounts for almost 30% of the cost of motor vehicle accident injuries.
  • Newly licensed teen drivers have a higher crash rate during their first year of driving than in any other year.
  • Most teen drivers will underestimate the seriousness of a dangerous situation.
  • Teen drivers have a hard time recognizing the presence of a hazardous situation.
  • Teen drivers will break the speed limit more often than any other age group.
  • Drunk drivers are bad, but teenaged drunk drivers are even more likely to cause a car accident.
  • Inexperienced drivers cause more accidents.
  • The use of cell phones and texting while driving increases the risk of car accidents.
  • Teen drivers have a much more difficult time adjusting to night driving.

We need to put an end to fatal accidents in Kentucky. One way we can do this is to be good role models for our kids. They watch everything we do. If we do good, safe habits, so will they. It’s also important to never drink and drive. Not only is it dangerous, but it’s illegal. Please always pay attention to the road when you drive. It will help make Kentucky a safer place.

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