Thumbs down: Txt 2 death
After decreasing by almost half between 2007 and 2010, driver deaths of 16- and 17-year-olds are back on the rise, according to a preliminary report from the Governors Highway Safety Association
. The data suggest that in the first six months of 2012, the number grew by 38 percent nationwide to a total of 240. It's a message that may be of special interest to local teens: Indiana led the nation for the number of 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths in the period with a total of 13. The Centers for Disease Control reports that drivers under the age of 20 "have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes." According to a 2012 CDC survey, 32.8 percent of students surveyed nationwide had texted or e-mailed while driving at least once during the 30 days before the survey. Though new drivers may be the most highly susceptible to the dangers of distracted driving, the blame and the consequences are widespread. The CDC reports that everyday more than 15 people die and more than 1,200 are injured in crashes reported to involve a distracted driver.