According to a new study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the first half of 2011 saw an increase in the number of deaths for 16- and 17-year-old drivers in the United States. While data has not been released for the second half of 2011, it was found that 211 teen drivers died from fatal auto accidents during the first six months, an increase from the 190 that died in the first half of 2010.
If the increase is found to have continued in the second half of the year, it would mean that for the first time in eight years the United States would see an increase in teen driver fatalities. According to researchers involved in the study, the increase in deaths may be connected to the upturn in the U.S.’s overall economy, giving more teens a chance to get behind the wheel since they and their families can afford it. Additionally, it may be that the positive effects of graduated driver licensing laws in states across the country have leveled off as they have been in effect for several years now. States with the largest increase in teen driver deaths were Florida, Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina.
Distracted driving may be a major factor in these crashes, as well. Cell phone and smart phone use has continued to increase and be a growing cause of crashes in states across the country. While cell phone-related auto accidents have been seen in all ages of drivers, teen drivers have been largely affected by this form of distraction.
Unfortunately, thousands of people each year are injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents across the country, often due to the negligent or reckless actions of another driver. If you have lost a loved one due to another party’s negligence, the San Jose wrongful death lawyers at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP can help you find compensation for you and your family’s losses. For more information on how we can aid you, call us at (800) 900-0863.