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Fatal car accidents increase for teen drivers

Teen drivers are often energetic, ready to hit the road with their friends, and feel invincible with their newly found driving responsibility. The privilege to drive isn't something that should be taken lightly. For many people, driving is seen as a right, and for new drivers, it seems like a simple task that eventually becomes a secondary activity to texting or surfing the web behind the wheel.

Because of the increased distractions of many drivers, many states have implemented graduated driver licenses for new drivers, which restrict their driving privileges in hopes of decreasing accidents. The laws seemed to have helped reduce traffic deaths among 16- and 17- year-old drivers, until recently, when fatalities among teen drivers skyrocketed.

During the first six months of last year, the number of teens that were killed on the nation's highways increased 19 percent over the same time in 2011. Prior to 2011, the number of deaths of drivers in the 16- and 17-year-old group decreased for eight straight years. This has many people asking why the sudden increase? Although the data and reports didn't provide any clear explanation behind the increase, some possibilities are an increase in distractions, better financial times, and reduced effectiveness in the graduated driver license (GDL).

The GDL can only do so much. If teens don't obey the laws, and parents don't help regulate their teenagers' driving privileges, the law will not be effective. These laws cannot prevent, but only deter bad driving habits. All drivers should pay attention to the road and share in the responsibility of keeping roads safe.

Source: USA Today, "Deaths surge among youngest drivers," Larry Copeland, Feb. 26, 2013

-Naperville area car accidents can cause a victim significant physical and financial pain. Please visit our law firm website to learn more about personal injury law.

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