Auto accidents remain one of the top causes of death for teen drivers, and younger drivers face a significantly greater risk of becoming involved in a car wreck than their older peers. This is why our South Carolina personal injury attorneys were so happy to read the recent data indicating that young teen driver deaths had fallen in the state in 2012.
While it is great news that fewer teenage drivers died in 2012, however, the decline in deaths was only a small one. We still have a long way to go in making the roads as safe as they can be for young drivers and we encourage all teens and parents to remain vigilant about driver safety.
Teen Car Accident Deaths Declines in 2012
On March 5, 2013, The State published an article highlighting the good news from the Office of Highway Safety about the decline in the teen car accident death rate. According to The State, the number of deaths among drivers ages 16 and 17 declined slightly in 2012 as compared to 2011.
The change was in keeping with the long-range South Carolina trends on teen accident deaths. The number of young drivers ages 17 and 18 being killed in auto accidents has been on the decline since 2003.
The change is not an insignificant one. In 2003, there were 29 deaths among those ages 16 and 17 in the state. By 2012, there were only 13 deaths within the same age group over the year.
The ongoing decline in South Carolina teen car accident fatalities is at odds with the national average. Throughout the United States as a whole, the number of teen deaths has been rising. Predictions were also made that the death toll of young drivers was expected to go up for all of 2012.
South Carolina beat these expectations and had fewer drivers die for many reasons, but some of the most important include:
- The mandatory seat belt law, which became effective in 2006. Today, almost 60 percent of teenagers who are killed in wrecks are not wearing seat belts but The State indicates this number used to be much higher.
- The Alive at 25 Program, which is a 4 ½ hour course that is taught at eleven high schools and reaches 3,511 students. The program was started in 2007 and works to connect with students emotionally to foster safe driving habits.
- Putting onto tickets clearly displayed traffic safety information dealing with the issues of texting and driving; drunk driving; speeding and seat-belt use.
- Rollover simulators and driving simulators, which an estimated 15,000 people used last year. The simulators show teens how easy it is to become distracted and become involved in a wreck.
- The Families of Highway Fatalities Program, in which parents of teens killed in avoidable car wrecks speak to students. This program reached over 15,000 students last year.
The laws and outreach efforts are clearly working as the rate of car accident deaths continues to decline among South Carolina’s youth.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.
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