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Increase in Teen Driving Fatalities


Teen Driver

Teen driving fatalities have increased by a staggering 19% in the past year. According to a report that complied preliminary state data, twenty-five states reported an increase in teen driving fatalities, seventeen states reported a decrease, and eight states and the District of Columbia reported no change in the number of 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths, according to MSN News. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to release more definitive data later this year.

The Washington Post reported that 240 teens were killed in the first six months of 2012, according to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association. Although that number may seem small, many experts think that the increase portends a larger trend indicating an overall increase in the number of highway deaths in 2012.

The new trend is a sharp departure from several year of declining auto accident fatalities attributed to increased safety programs and stricter laws related to drunk driving and distracted driving.

According to Allan Williams, the traffic researcher who conducted the study, the increase in teen fatalities may be due to a leveling-off of the positive effect of state graduated-licensing laws which place restrictions on teen driving privileges, such things limiting the number of passengers a teenager have in the vehicle and prohibiting nighttime driving for a period of time.

The new data aside, teen auto accidents in Illinois are significantly higher than any other group of drivers.  In fact, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation, in 2009, there were 60,566 car accidents involving teen drivers and driving accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers ages 15-20.

Before a teenager can obtain his or her driver's license in Illinois, a parent must certify that the teen has completed at least 50 hours of practice driving, including 10 hours of nighttime driving.  Once a teenager has obtained his or her license, drivers between the ages of 16-17 are prohibited from driving between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Moreover, teen drivers age 16-17 may only have one other person under age 20 (unless the passenger(s) is a sibling or child of the driver) in the vehicle for the first year of licensed driving.

Teen drivers are particularly susceptible to driving hazards and the risk of auto accidents. The Chicago auto accident attorneys at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish are dedicated to educating teens and their parents on the importance of safe driving, and protecting the rights of those injured in auto accidents with teen drivers. To learn more, contact our office at (312) 782-1386 to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Chicago auto accident lawyers.








Steinberg Goodman & Kalish  ( is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (800) 784-0150 or (312) 782-1386.




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