Car Accidents in Missouri Increasing Teen Driver Fatalities

Car Accidents in Missouri Increasing Teen Driver Fatalities

More 16 and 17-year-old drivers are dying in car accidents in St. Louis and elsewhere throughout the state. According to a recent study from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), Missouri saw an increase in the number of deaths among these drivers during the first six months of 2011 in comparison to the stats from the year before. Missouri actually saw one of the most severe spikes in these kinds of deaths – more than 200 percent.

The state had three teen fatalities during the first six months of 2010, but saw 10 in the first six months of 2011. That is the second-highest increase in the country, only behind Illinois.


Nationwide, there was an 11 percent increase in the number of deaths among this young group of drivers. There were 190 teen deaths throughout the country during the first half of 2010, while there were 211 during the first half of 2011.

Our St. Louis car accident attorneys understand that there are a number of factors that affect teen’s driving abilities behind the wheel. While teens are at their most vulnerable – in their first few months and years behind the wheel – they can be greatly impacted by the kind of Graduated Driver’s Licensing (GDL) program that is implemented in their state, as well as parental oversight.

In the state of Missouri, teens are allowed to get their learner’s license once they’ve turned 15. During this time, they have to complete 40 hours of supervised driving, 10 of which need to be done at night. They have to hold this license for a minimum of 6 months. Once they turn 16 they can apply for a restricted driver’s license. In this state, they are prohibited from driving between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. For the first six months of this license, they are not allowed to have more than one passenger in the vehicle who is under the age of 19. After the first 6 months, they can’t have any more than three passengers under the age of 19. Nighttime restrictions and passenger restrictions are lifted after they turn 17 and after they’ve held the restricted driver’s license for at least 11 months.

Parents are an important part of this learning process. Parents should help to enforce the state’s GDL restrictions, along with any additional restrictions they feel necessary. Parents are some of the most influential people for these young drivers. Help to teach your teen safe driving habits as early as possible.

The recent study from the GHSA was led by Dr. Allan Williams, a former member of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). He released the findings of this report just as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its findings concluding that the number of these driver deaths actually decreased by less than one percent during the same time period.

The truth of the matter, according to Williams, is that 80 drivers who were 16 died during the first half of 2010, while 93 were killed during the same time in 2011. That’s a 16 percent increase. There was an increase from 110 to 118 for the same time for 17-year-old drivers, illustrating a 7 percent increase.

“While it is not a surprise that these numbers are stabilizing or slightly increasing, states should not accept these deaths as something that cannot be prevented. More work can and should be done to save teen lives,” said Williams.

More Blog Entries:

Chance to Win a New Car for Raising Awareness of Distracted Driving Accidents in Missouri, St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 4, 2011

National Teen Driver Safety Week and AAA Work to Reduce Risks of Teen Car Accidents in Missouri, Nation, St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Blog, October 24, 2011

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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