Study: Teen Driving Deaths Up After 8 Years of Decline

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(photo by Jesuspower via flickr)

More than 200 16- and 17-year old drivers died in the first half of 2011, the first increase after more than eight years of decline.

From the report by the Governors Highway Safety Association:

"The numbers of 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths in passenger vehicles in the United States were slightly higher for the first six months of 2011 than in the first six months of 2010, based on preliminary data supplied by all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Deaths of 16-year-olds increased from 80 to 93 (16 percent). Deaths of 17-year-olds increased from 110 to 118 (7 percent). Overall, 16-and-17-year-old drivers deaths increased from 190 to 211 (11 percent ). Twenty-three states had increases in deaths of 16- and 17-year-olds, 19 had decreases, and there was no change in 8 states plus the District of Columbia. Most of the changes were small.

If this trend continued in the second half of 2011, it will mark a reversal of longstanding yearly declines in teen driver deaths, especially among 16-year-olds....Deaths reached historic lows in 2010: 158 deaths of 16-year-old drivers compared with 508 in pre-GDL 1995; and 250 17-year-old driver deaths compared with 507 in 1995. These are much larger decreases than occurred in other age groups."