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Teen Driver Deaths Increase in 2012

Cars- PhoneSPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — The number of teens getting killed behind the wheel is on the rise.

During the first six months of 2012 there were 240 16-and17-year-olds killed in car accidents compared to 202 killed during the same time period of 2011. That’s a 19% increase.

The data is from the “Teenage Driver Fatalities by State” study complied by the Governors Highway Safety Association.

In Massachusetts there were two deaths from January to June of 2012 compared to the same time in 2011.

“Based on 2011 final data and the early look at 2012, it appears that we are headed in the wrong direction when it comes to deaths of 16-and17-year-old drivers,” said Dr. Allan Williams, GHSA researcher.

The study cites an improving economy, which would increase the statistics because more teen drivers are on the road.

It also highlights the growing problems of distracted driving.

“It’s almost like that addiction, a lot of them are really addicted to cell phones,” said Paul Santos, United Driving School.

Santos is an instructor at United Driving School in Springfield. He makes his students put away their cell phones when they’re driving.

“You know taking your eyes off the road for at least a second is almost going through a whole football field,” said Santos.

He tells his new drivers and all drivers to put their cell phones in the back seat or glove compartment and to watch their speed. Two easy things that could slow down the statistics for deadly accidents among teens.

CLICK HERE to read the study in it’s entirety.

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