Teen driving fatalities increase in first half of 2011: report

Washington – Driving deaths among 16- and 17-year-olds increased 11 percent during the first six months of 2011 compared to the same time period in 2010, according to a new report (.pdf file) from the Governors Highway Safety Association. The preliminary findings reverse an eight-year downward trend in teen driver fatalities, according to a GHSA press release.

Researcher Allan Williams found that 16- and 17-year-old driver fatalities increased to 211 in the first half of 2011, from 190 in 2010. He suggested the increase could be due to a diminishing effect of state Graduated Driver Licensing laws that encourage safe driving among teens. He also suggested that changing economic conditions may have contributed to additional teens on the road in 2011.

In the release, GHSA Executive Director Barbara Harsha recommended that the federal government provide more financial support for states to launch media and education campaigns on safe teen driving.

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