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Fatal car accidents involving teens on rise in Missouri

Unfortunately, a new study has revealed that the number of 16 and 17-year-olds killed in car accidents in Missouri increased during the first half of 2011, and officials say that inattention or distracted driving is a major reason for the accidents.

A sergeant for the Missouri Highway Patrol said that he sees the effects of these tragic accidents firsthand, and they often become ever more tragic when it turns out that the accident could have been prevented.

The sergeant said that Missouri parents have a duty to teach their teens about the dangers of distracted driving, including being distracted by cellphones, friends or the radio. He said that these distractions go hand-in-hand with inexperience behind the wheel.

One way to prevent this is to remind teen drivers that they are not invincible and that serious car accidents can happen to anyone, the sergeant said. All too often, teens think that accidents happen to others, but could never happen to themselves.

"Traffic crashes don't discriminate," the sergeant said. "You look over the course of time, no matter how much money you make, or who you are, or who your family is you can still be in traffic crash."

A recent study from the Governor's Highway Safety Association found that the number of accidents involving 16 and 17-year old drivers rose during the first half of 2011 in Missouri. On the other hand, Kansas saw a slight decrease in the fatalities during the same time.

The sergeant said that regardless of statistics, teen drivers needed to be reminded to be safe on the roads every day so that every trip can be a safe trip.

Source: Fox 4 News, "Inexperience, Distractions Can be Fatal for Young Drivers," Jason M. Vaughn, Feb. 17, 2012

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