Entries in Teen Drivers (5)


Teen Driver Deaths Jump 19% in 2012

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The number of teenagers who died behind the wheel jumped 19 percent in the first six months of 2012, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).

That's more than double the increase the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported for overall traffic deaths -- 8 percent.

The GHSA says 240 teen drivers died last year (107 16-year-olds and 133 17-year-olds), up from 202 total a year before.  If the trend is spotted again when the association reviews the second half of the year, it would make 2012 the second straight year with an increase in teen driver deaths.

Experts blame the greater number of fatalities on an improving economy and changes in state laws, which have eased restrictions on younger drivers.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


One in Three Teens Text While Driving, CDC Finds

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- While teen drivers have reduced some risky behaviors behind the wheel, such as not wearing a seatbelt and driving while intoxicated, many still engage in other dangerous practices, according to a new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 2011 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey finds that one in three high school students had texted or emailed while driving during the past 30 days.

"Texting or email while driving can have deadly consequences that are entirely preventable," says Howell Wechsler, the director of the CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health.  "Studies show that activities such as texting are particularly dangerous because they take the drivers attention away from driving more frequently and for longer period of times than other distractions."

Combined with their inexperience, texting puts young drivers at risk for car accidents.

"Due to their lack of experience behind the wheel, younger drivers under the age of 20 are at increased risk and at the highest proportion of distraction related fatal crashes," says Wechsler.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among American youth, according to the CDC.  They account for more than one in three teen deaths each year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Many Young Drivers Text, Talk Behind Wheel Despite Knowing Risks

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(YONKERS, N.Y.) -- Most young drivers are aware that talking or texting behind the wheel is dangerous, but that hasn't stopped many from doing it.

A new survey out Tuesday by Consumer Reports found that while 80 percent of 16- to 21-year-olds polled said texting or using apps while driving poses serious risks, almost a third -- 29 percent -- admitted to texting as they drove in the last 30 days.  Another 8 percent said they used apps while driving and 7 percent confessed to using e-mail or social media.

The magazine also found that although 60 percent of young drivers surveyed considered talking on the phone while driving to be dangerous, half of them said they did it in the last 30 days.

Despite the findings, there are some safety-minded young people on the road as Liza Barth, an associate editor for Consumers Reports, points out.

"We found that about 50 percent said that they are speaking up for their safety, if they see some of their friends using these things behind the wheel," Barth said.

What's more, "74 percent have tried to stop their behaviors and they've read about the problem; 61 percent have heard or read about the problem of distracted driving; and 40 percent said the laws have helped them reduce or stop some of the behaviors," Barth said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


DOT to Hold Campaign Promoting Teen Driver Safety

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Teenage drivers are disproportionately involved in fatal crashes with large trucks, according to the Department of Transportation.

Although the inexperienced drivers make up just six percent of motorists, they account for 19 percent of fatalities.  That's why the transportation agency will hold a "Teens and Trucks" campaign Thursday to educate young drivers about the hazards of the road and how to steer clear of a truck's "No Zones."

"It's about teaching our least experienced and already our highest risk drivers the importance of steering clear of truck's 'No Zones,'" DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne Ferro says.

"The 'No Zone' are the blind spots around a truck, and steering clear of a truck's 'No Zones,' making sure that the truck driver has you in his sites is a sure way to avoid any sort of crash," she explains.

During the demonstration, teens will be staged around a truck's "No Zones" and will be seated in the truck's driver's seat "so that they can see just what those blind spots really are, how extensive they are, and generally, its a sobering message for teens who participate in these events," says Ferro.

The campaign comes just as summer is approaching, a time when it is especially deadly for this age group on the road.

"Between graduation season, start of the summer, this is among the most deadly period for teens on our nation's highways.  In fact, in the summer months, teens are at double the risk for crashes on our roadways," Ferro says.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Beware: October Most Dangerous Month for Teen Drivers

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BLOOMINGTON, Ill.) -- October is the most dangerous month for teen drivers, according to a new report by insurance provider State Farm.

The company says that over the past seven years, 16- and 17-year-old drivers in the U.S. and parts of Canada most often filed injury or collision claims during October, a rate 15 percent higher when compared to other months. The data was representative of claims filed to State Farm between 2003-2009.

A recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive showed that 57 percent of teens admit to sending and reading text messages while driving.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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