In Tennessee, the state works hard to prevent teen driver motor vehicle accidents. However, even though there are very specific graduated driver licensing laws intended to more ease teens into driving, these drivers remain vulnerable when it comes to their chances of getting into a fatal accident.
According to a report published by the Governors Highway Safety Association, there was a 19 percent increase in teen driver deaths within the first six months of 2012. If this increase ends up also being seen in the second part of the year, this would be the second year in a row that there was an increase in teen driver deaths.
Broken down, from January to June 2012 there was a 24 percent increase in the number of 16-year-old drivers killed in accidents. During this same time, there was a 15 percent increase among 17-year-olds. Compared to the first six months of 2011, together, this equaled out to be a 19 percent increase.
In looking at why there was an increase in motor vehicle-related teen fatalities, it is not possible to just pinpoint one reason. Rather, it appears to be a combination of teens driving more, the safety impact of the graduated driver licensing laws waning, and distracted driving due to technological advances.
With it being the age of technology, most teen drivers have cellphones. For some, the urge to talk on the phone or send off a text message while driving is too strong. However, these are distractions that also frequently lead to crashes in Tennessee and around the rest of the country.