Nationwide report indicates fatal teen car accidents are decreasing

Despite a recent explosion in fatal car crashes involving teenagers, a new report shows that overall, the percentage of teenagers dying in car accidents is actually decreasing.

A number of deadly accidents occurred across the United States this past week, including five fatalities in Texas, six in Ohio, four in Illinois, and three in Indiana. All fatalities were teenagers.

Crashes such as these have always made headlines and cast light on the safety of teenage driving; however, these recent crashes do not accurately reflect the number of fatal teenage crashes in the country over the last decade.

According to a report released in February by the Governors Highway Safety Association, fatal crashes involving teenagers has declined over the last ten years.

The report states that in 2000, 435 16-year old drivers were killed in auto accidents, a number that dropped to 158 by 2010. Also in the same timeframe, fatalities among 17-year-old drivers decreased from 564 a year to 250. These decreases are being attributed by the Association to stricter state regulations on drivers, including limitations on driving at night and having other teens in the vehicle as passengers.

Despite these figures, there has been an increase in fatalities in 2012, as deaths in the 16-17 –year-old age group increased 19% in the first six months, from 2011’s 202 fatalities to 2012’s 240 fatalities.

The report also indicated that fewer teens in America are actually obtaining their driver’s licenses, which could also contribute to the statistics presented. Transportation researchers suggest that the availability of virtual contact and communication via the Internet is reducing the need for many teens to be on the road as frequently as in past generations.

Despite these positive statistics, the new year has already claimed a number of lives that could alter those numbers.

The five teens killed in Texas were on their way to celebrate spring break in a nearby town when the driver, Derrek Lee Hager, ran a stop sign and had a head-on collision with a fuel tanker truck. The car burst into flames, killing Hager and his four passengers. DNA was used to identify the boys. The tanker’s driver remains in critical condition and has burns covering 65% of his body.

In Ohio, an SUV plunged into a body of water after the driver sped and drove recklessly. Of the eight passengers in the vehicle, only two survived.

Lastly, in Indiana, two trucks collided at a four-way stop after a Future Farmers of America event at a local rural church. A small Ford F-250 was struck by a larger Dodge pick-up truck. Three of the passengers were pronounced dead at the scene, including both drivers, and the other three passengers were taken to the hospital with severe injuries.

Car accidents can change a life in a mere moment. If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, or you have questions about the way your accident was handled, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering. Contact the attorneys at The Killino Firm today for a free case evaluation.