The Governors Highway Safety Association has issued an alarming report that shows a sharp rise in teenage driving deaths. According to the report, deaths of 16- and 17-year-old drivers rose in 25 states – including South Carolina – in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011.

Nationwide, teen deaths went up 19 percent. In South Carolina, eight teen drivers died in the first half of 2012, up from four in the first half of the preceding year. South Carolina requires only 40 hours of supervised driving time for teens to be licensed. Other states, such as North Carolina, require teens to complete 60 hours behind the wheel.

Causes for the Increase in Teen Fatalities

The authors of the highway safety study suggest numerous factors may contribute to the increase in deadly teenage accidents. As the economy recovers, more people are on the road, including teenagers. With little experience behind the wheel, teens often aren’t prepared for dangerous situations, especially in congested driving situations.

Also, graduated driver licensing programs, which limit driving privileges to give teens time to develop smart habits, have not been a high priority lately in state legislatures, so there has been little focus on strengthening these programs.

Suggestions for the Future

The report suggests that graduated driver licensing programs should be implemented in every state. Graduated licensing guidelines allow young drivers to gradually expand their freedom on the road within a framework of rules.

In addition, the GHSA strongly recommends that states take a closer look at their drivers education programs to ensure that all beginners receive high-quality training.

Need Legal Help?

Car crashes can occur for many reasons. Sometimes even the most careful drivers are unable to avoid a collision. Our South Carolina accident attorneys at Joye Law Firm understand that no matter what the cause, an accident can have physical, emotional and financial consequences for all involved. If you or someone you love is hurt in a South Carolina automobile crash, please contact us for a free consultation at 877-941-2615 or fill out our convenient online form today.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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