The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a report based on data gleaned from the Fatality Analysis Report System (FARS). Accident reports from 2004 to 2008 showed that 37 percent of more than 11,000 crash deaths during that four-year span were drivers aged 16 or 17. That is 4,000 teen deaths.
The number of teen deaths from traffic accidents are on the decline, but law enforcement officials are becoming more concerned about the number of impaired and distracted driving accidents. This is a national trend that may lead to higher death tolls.
Law enforcements concerns are not so much about inexperienced drivers as about distracted, impaired and drowsy driving. Distracted and impaired driving is not limited to cell phone use and alcohol. It is about a lack of attention that results in risky behavior that can lead to fatalities.
There is a growing concern nationwide that this type of driving is a growing problem. You can not drive a single mile without seeing someone on their cellphone or reading a text. Many states are considering laws to ban cellphone use while operating a motor vehicle. Sadly, these measures will come too late for the thousands who have already been buried.
If you have a teen driver in your household, you may want to discourage the cell phone use while driving. Not only could this lead to a decrease in the rates you pay for teenage driver insurance, it could, it seems, be a life-saver.