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Teen Driver Deaths On The Rise

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By Andrew Reed

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Deaths among teenage drivers have been on a steady decline, until now.

The number of 16 and 17-year-olds killed in car accidents was up during the first 6 months of 2012.

25 states reported increases in teen traffic deaths, and Idaho is on that list.

In the state of Idaho, teens can receive their driver license at the age of fifteen.

However, police officers believe there are more distractions in the car for teenagers than ever before.

"Teens driving tend to text while they drive, the stereo plays a big part of it wanting to play CD's and listen to loud music and have other people in the vehicle. We also see problems with teens being under the influence and drugs,” said Officer Justin Hendrickson, Twin Falls Police Department.

Distracted driving is a particular problem for teens given their high use technology and frequent travel with peer passengers, which can escalate a crash.

"We try to minimize the number of distractions, sometimes the distractions are outside the car, and we try to teach the kids to learn how to handle distractions. The most important thing when they're driving is keep themselves and the people around the safe” said Ray Conover, Professional Driving School.

Although the death rate is up among young drivers...the governors highway safety association found that fatal accidents involving this age group remain at historically low levels.

"Parents should really sit down with their children and explain the dangers of being behind the wheel and not being able to pay attention. Just looking down at a text message on the phone your distracting yourself from your vehicle, “said Officer Hendrickson

A problem parents need to be aware of while their children are on the road.



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