Teen Traffic Fatality Accidents Increase: First Quarter of 2012 Saw Significant Increase in Car Accidents Leading to Deaths of Teens
A recent report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, has uncovered a very unfortunate reversal of safety trends. According to this recent report, teen deaths among drivers aged 16 & 17 jumped a staggering 19%, from 202 in the first half of 2011 to 240 in the first half of 2012. Further magnifying the seriousness of this problem is the fact that the number of teen drivers on the road actually dropped significantly in recent years.
The sudden increase comes on the heels of a six year drop in the number of traffic fatalities. Between 2005 and 2011, there had been a 26 percent drop in fatalities, which expert said was due to a combination of safer cars, stricter state DUI laws, more stringent seatbelt laws and, more restrictive licensing procedures and legal restrictions on teen driving.
In part, many experts are attributing this sudden spike in fatalities to the stronger economy, which generally means a lot more large trucks and a lot more congestion on the highways. It also means this is something we all need to deal with for a while. Other experts suggest that the initial benefit of state graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems may be fading a bit, and that states may either have to strengthen their GDL laws, or better enforce compliance with existing GDL provisions. Other suggestions include stronger driver education programs, especially when it comes to distracted driving, which is a particular problem with text-happy teens. According to a recent study, 26 percent of teen drivers admitted to having read or sent a text message at least once every time they operate a motor vehicle.
There appear to be many causes for this increase. Along with more 18-wheelers on the road and increased speed by drivers, it is likely that teens are more prone to distracted driving and texting and driving, and that this behavior is also contributing to this uptick in traffic deaths.
Just driving around South Texas, the Eagle Ford Shale Communities, San Antonio, and Houston, Texas, it becomes apparent that the recent boom in oil and gas drilling and economic surge in Texas has created a much different driving environment than 10 years ago. Trucks supporting the oil and gas industry, workers commuting hundreds of miles to make higher wages in the oil patch, and other industries reviving, have created much more traffic. Add to all of this the increased speed limits in Texas and you have a dangerous mix.
The attorneys at Hill Law Firm, with offices in Houston, Texas and San Antonio, Texas are all too familiar with the dangers created by the increased oil and gas trucking traffic, higher speeds, and other dangerous conditions on Texas’s roadways. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in car wreck, call the Texas Traffic Accident Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm today.