Virginia Teen Driving Fatalities Rising

The number of teenage drivers who die in car crashes rose substantially in 2011 and 2012, according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association. The GHSA compared teen accident fatalities for the first six months of 2011 and 2012.

In Virginia, the number of 16- and 17-year-old drivers who died in car accidents tripled during the first six months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011.

Nationwide, the GHSA study showed that teenage driving deaths are up 19%. This is alarming news for parents and public safety officials.

From 2002-2010, teen driver car wreck fatalities declined steadily, even though traffic accidents remained the leading cause of death for 15- to 20-year-old Americans.

Virginia has taken steps to help young drivers stay safe and avoid traffic accidents. Teens who want a license are required to participate in drivers’ education and behind-the-wheel training. There is also a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence.

Virginia has a three-tiered process for licensing teens to drive, and youths under 18 years of age are limited to provisional licenses that restrict nighttime driving and carrying passengers.

But with 92,000 new Virginia drivers getting licenses each year, many inexperienced teen drivers are on the Virginia roads. There is no doubt that young drivers are far more likely to get into car accidents than older motorists.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that for each mile behind the wheel, teen drivers are three times more likely to have a fatal car accident than drivers older than the age of 19. In 2011, Virginia’s DMV recorded 20,901 car accidents where a teenager was behind the wheel.

Teen driving accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. Families in Richmond, Virginia are often devastated when their young drivers die or suffer serious, life-altering injuries in automobile accidents.

The accident attorneys at Geoff McDonald and Associates PC, based in Richmond, represent clients in personal injury cases, assuring that those who are harmed in car accidents, truck crashes, and other auto collisions receive the compensation they deserve.