Oklahoma City car accident fatality attorneys are extremely concerned about the upward trend in teen driver deaths. As data continues to come in, 2012 appears to be the second year in a row that the nation has seen an increase in teen driver deaths after eight years of decline. All 50 states and the District of Columbia are participating in the ongoing 2012 Teenage Driver Fatalities by State report conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
According to preliminary numbers, 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths in passenger vehicles were higher in the first six months of 2012 than they were in the first six months of 2011. Nationwide, deaths of 16-year-olds increased 24 percent from 86 to 107 fatalities and deaths of 17-year-olds increased 15 percent from 116 to 133. The final numbers for the second half of 2012 will not be available for months.
Oklahoma, however, is one of the few states that actually saw a slight decrease in the number of teenage traffic fatalities during the first six months of 2012 when compared to 2011. During the first six months of 2011, nine teenagers were killed in traffic accidents while seven were killed over the same period in 2012 in Oklahoma. Other states such as Washington, Florida, and North Carolina experienced fewer fatalities as well but it was not enough to statistically overcome the overall increase in deaths that occurred throughout the country.
One possible contributing factor to this upward trend is the growing popularity of cell phones and electronic devices. If you have a young driver in your household, it is absolutely necessary to remind him or her of the dangers of distracted driving and the importance of practicing safe driving habits at all times. Parents also need to be role models by adopting these safe driving practices themselves.
In addition, strong graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) programs are critical so young drivers get to practice in a safe and supervised environment before they become fully-licensed drivers. Anyone who has been injured in a car accident would be well advised to contact an experienced lawyer to obtain more information about protecting his or her rights.