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Teen deaths make up disproportionate share of Alabama traffic deaths

Communities are supposed to protect their children, teens included. Research provided by the Governors Highway Safety Association suggests that Alabama needs to do a better job at preventing fatal accidents involving teens on its roads.

The state is one of the standout leaders in regards to the number of teens who died in 2012 car wrecks. Between 2011 and 2012 there was an overall decrease in traffic fatalities throughout the U.S. That positive trend, however, is quickly dimmed by some negative news: teen traffic deaths were up, very markedly in Alabama, in fact.

According to crash statistics, three teens ages 16 to 17 died in motor vehicle accidents during 2011. In 2012, that number made a steep climb to 12. Alabama isn't alone in seeing an increase in teen fatalities, though the drastic increase in its teen death rate is significant compared to most other states' numbers.

Some suggest that the increased rate of traffic fatalities involving teens is the consequence of distracted driving. They believe that, despite warnings that texting while driving is as dangerous as driving drunk, teens just aren't connecting warning to action. They are so reliant on their cellphones and aren't altering their habits to meet the safety needs of themselves and others on the roads.

What do you think about this statistic? Is the increased rate of teen deaths on the roads related to distracted driving? If so, what should Alabama do to better protect teens and those who share the roads with them?

While reducing the number of teens who die in crashes is important, it is just as important to protect all motorists, no matter their age. If a teen causes a crash, he can't use his age as an excuse when a crash victim sustains injuries and pursues legal action. Our Alabama personal injury firm helps victims who have been injured because of texting while driving or other distracted driving behaviors.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Report: Young teen driver deaths up in US; down in Georgia," Fran Jeffries, Feb. 26, 2013

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