Deaths of 16- and 17-year-old drivers jumped 19% the first half of 2012, reversing a 10-year trend, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
The National Safety Council noted that traffic deaths among all ages rose last year, too, by 5% — the first increase since 2005.
Researchers find it difficult to determine what prompted the teen-fatality jump. Some blame distracted driving and an improved economy, which yields more disposable income and enables teen joyriding. The improved fatality trend over the prior decade coincided with the advent of graduated licensing laws, now in force in all 50 states.
Read the Associated Press story that ran in The Seattle Times.