The Governors Highway Safety Association has reported that after several years of decline, the first six months of 2011 (based on preliminary data) had an increase in 16- and 17-year-old traffic fatalities. Twenty-three states saw increases, 19 had decreases, and there were no changes in eight states, for a cumulative 11% increase. The study only covers the first half of 2011; traffic deaths usually increase during the second half of the year, which includes summer and vacation driving. If this is, in fact, true for 2011, it would officially end the eight-year trend of declining deaths for this age group.
Allan Williams, a highway safety consultant who conducted the research blames the improving economy for more teens being on the roads and the initial impact of graduated driver licensing programs leveling off. He also stated the state which saw an increase are not weak GDL states; however, there is room for more consistent enforcement of provisions, such as restrictions on teen passengers and nighttime driving.
Texas teen deaths increased by +4 and Georgia teen deaths decreased -4 for this time period. There was no change in California.
Read the report>