A report from a national road safety group highlights what could be a troubling trend among young drivers: an increase in fatalities among 16- and 17-year-old drivers after several years of declines in that age group.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) examined deaths of 16- and 17-year-old drivers through the first six months of 2011 and found an 11% increase over the same period in 2010. Deaths of 16-year-olds rose 16% and 17-year-olds 7%, for an overall jump of 11%.
The study by the GHSA, which represents states on highway safety issues, covers only the first half of last year. Traffic deaths usually rise during the second half of the year, which includes summer and vacation driving. If data for the second half of 2011 continue the trend, it would be the first time in eight years that deaths have risen for this age group of drivers.