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Teen Driving Deaths up in Illinois the First Part of Last Year

Casey Woodruff

Each and every time someone gets into a motor vehicle in the state of Illinois, there is a chance that they will be involved in a car accident. The odds of such an event occurring increases when the driver of the auto is a member of a certain demographic. Perhaps not surprisingly, teenaged drivers are often involved in crashes.

Sometimes these crashes are not serious. In other instances however the outcome can be devastating and in the worst cases, even lead to death. According to statistics recently released by from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, in the first half of 2012, this happened with increased frequency, throughout the nation, including the state of Illinois. The numbers indicate that compared to the first six months of 2011, the number of fatal accidents involving teen drivers, was up 19 percent. The state of Illinois saw 12 teens die in car accidents during that period.

While there are likely multiple reasons for the increase, one reason acknowledged by adults and teens alike in the state, is the use of cellphones. The distraction talking and texting on the phones provides could cause teen drivers to fail to be aware of things happening on the road leading to crashes.

The state of Illinois has taken steps to address issues that could cause teen drivers to be involved in car accidents. In addition to passing laws that make it illegal for teens to use their phones while operating a vehicle, within the first year of getting a license teen drivers can only have one passenger in their vehicle.

Whether the state of Illinois will take additional actions in response to the release of the recent statistics remains to be seen.

Source: KFVS, “Teen driving deaths on the rise,” Arnold Wyrick, Feb. 27, 2013

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