Deaths Surge Among Youngest Drivers - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Deaths Surge Among Youngest Drivers

USATODAY.COM - Deaths of teen drivers jumped 19% in the first six months of last year, more than double the percentage increase for overall traffic deaths, according to a new report.

There were 240 highway fatalities of 16- and 17-year-old drivers through the first half of 2012, up from 202 for the same period a year earlier, says the Governors Highway Safety Association, based on preliminary data from its members. Overall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration projects that all traffic deaths were up 8% for the period.

If the numbers hold true for the second half of 2012, it would mark the second straight year of increases in deaths of teen drivers. In 2011, road deaths of 16- and 17-year-old drivers rose 3%, ending eight straight years of declines.

Allan Williams, an independent highway safety consultant who compiled the GHSA report, says the spike in teen driver fatalities likely reflects two factors: the improving economy and a leveling off of the safety benefits from graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs.

"The economy has a lot to do with highway deaths in general," says Williams, former chief scientist at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "It has even more of an effect on young people, who have less disposable income" and tend to drive less in a downturn.

He also speculates that the safety impact of graduated driver licensing laws, in which young people gain more driving privileges as they gain experience, might have waned. "We've gotten a lot of mileage out of GDL, but a lot of states still have programs that are somewhat weak," Williams says. "We need to pay more attention to the things that we know work."

Through June 2012, deaths of 16-year-old drivers increased 24%, to 107; fatalities of 17-year-olds rose 15% to 133, for a cumulative jump of 19%.

Twenty-five states reported increases, 17 had drops and eight states and the District of Columbia had no change.

"That certainly is alarming," says John Ulczycki, vice president of the National Safety Council, which says overall road deaths rose about 5% in 2012. "There still are no states that have what we consider the best-practice (GDL) laws. Some states could do a little more, and some states could do a lot more."

"In my state of Tennessee, we have worked extensively to keep teen drivers safe," says GHSA chairman Kendell Poole, director of the state's Governor's Highway Safety Office. "Despite our efforts, teens remain our most vulnerable population. With the advances in technology, we suspect distracted driving deaths among teen drivers are rising."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Petition Calls for Changes to E-DUI Law

    Petition Calls for Changes to E-DUI Law

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 6:10 PM EDT2017-07-25 22:10:01 GMT

    Its only been in effect for a few days but some drivers in Washington are not happy with the new E-DUI law and want to make changes.

    >>

    Its only been in effect for a few days but some drivers in Washington are not happy with the new E-DUI law and want to make changes.

    >>
  • Coffee is life: Washington woman's hands-free drinking tip goes viral

    Coffee is life: Washington woman's hands-free drinking tip goes viral

    Monday, July 24 2017 7:30 PM EDT2017-07-24 23:30:43 GMT

    VANCOUVER, Wash. - With Washington's new distracted driving law in effect, holding a phone while behind the wheel could cost you. In addition to the cell phone crackdown, the law makes eating, drinking or other activities that could potentially take your hands off the wheel secondary offenses. That means if you run a stop sign while drinking a cup of coffee and get pulled over for running the stop sign, you could get a $99 fine for drinking that coffee.

    >>

    VANCOUVER, Wash. - With Washington's new distracted driving law in effect, holding a phone while behind the wheel could cost you. In addition to the cell phone crackdown, the law makes eating, drinking or other activities that could potentially take your hands off the wheel secondary offenses. That means if you run a stop sign while drinking a cup of coffee and get pulled over for running the stop sign, you could get a $99 fine for drinking that coffee.

    >>
  • 'Nurse in' held in support of breastfeeding Spokane mom

    'Nurse in' held in support of breastfeeding Spokane mom

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 6:57 PM EDT2017-07-25 22:57:23 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - If you were near Physzique Fitness in South Spokane Monday morning, you may be wondering what all the mothers and babies were doing outside. We learned they were holding a 'nurse-in' to show their support for a mother who said she had a negative breastfeeding experience at the facility.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - If you were near Physzique Fitness in South Spokane Monday morning, you may be wondering what all the mothers and babies were doing outside. We learned they were holding a 'nurse-in' to show their support for a mother who said she had a negative breastfeeding experience at the facility.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • 2 photographers arrested on top of 400-foot-high bridge

    2 photographers arrested on top of 400-foot-high bridge

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 6:27 PM EDT2017-07-25 22:27:10 GMT

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Officials say two men arrested in the middle of the night on top of Philadelphia's nearly 400-foot-tall Ben Franklin Bridge were photographers. The head of the agency that operates the bridge connecting downtown Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey, says the men set off motion detectors as they climbed suspension cables around 1 a.m. Tuesday.

    >>

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Officials say two men arrested in the middle of the night on top of Philadelphia's nearly 400-foot-tall Ben Franklin Bridge were photographers. The head of the agency that operates the bridge connecting downtown Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey, says the men set off motion detectors as they climbed suspension cables around 1 a.m. Tuesday.

    >>
  • Tiger cub rejected by mother finds new mom in Oklahoma zoo

    Tiger cub rejected by mother finds new mom in Oklahoma zoo

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 4:46 PM EDT2017-07-25 20:46:41 GMT
    FB: Dr. Gretchen Cole and the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical GardenFB: Dr. Gretchen Cole and the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A tiger cub rejected by her mother at the Philadelphia Zoo has been accepted by a new mother at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Officials with the two zoos said Monday that the cub, named Zoya, was accepted by a Sumatran tiger named Lola. Zoya is an Amur tiger, also known as a Siberian tiger. Zoya is the lone survivor of five cubs born July 9 to a first-time mother in the Philadelphia Zoo, and the mother rejected her.      

    >>

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A tiger cub rejected by her mother at the Philadelphia Zoo has been accepted by a new mother at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Officials with the two zoos said Monday that the cub, named Zoya, was accepted by a Sumatran tiger named Lola. Zoya is an Amur tiger, also known as a Siberian tiger. Zoya is the lone survivor of five cubs born July 9 to a first-time mother in the Philadelphia Zoo, and the mother rejected her.      

    >>
  • Taco Bell partners with Lyft to offer 'ride-thru' meals

    Taco Bell partners with Lyft to offer 'ride-thru' meals

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 2:24 PM EDT2017-07-25 18:24:30 GMT

    IRVINE, Calif. - Taco Bell is testing a new service that allows users of the ride-sharing app Lyft to add a Taco Bell stop to their ride with the click of a button. The companies have announced "Taco Mode," an option for Lyft app users. Taco Bell says Lyft users who select Taco Mode get a custom menu, a taco-themed car and a free taco when they make their "ride-thru" stop at a nearby Taco Bell.

    >>

    IRVINE, Calif. - Taco Bell is testing a new service that allows users of the ride-sharing app Lyft to add a Taco Bell stop to their ride with the click of a button. The companies have announced "Taco Mode," an option for Lyft app users. Taco Bell says Lyft users who select Taco Mode get a custom menu, a taco-themed car and a free taco when they make their "ride-thru" stop at a nearby Taco Bell.

    >>