February 16, 2012

Teen Driving Deaths

Stats show that more teens are being killed in car accidents.

Scott: You have probably heard car crashes are the number one killer of teens. But you may not know that the number of teen driving deaths has been going down until now. According to a new report out today, teen driving deaths are up for the first time in eight years.

“It’s just a shock. You don’t think something like this could happen to a 16-year-old boy.”

Scott: Tuesday night, hundreds of student from Pella High School in Iowa gathered to mourn the loss of Blake Van Vark.

Nathan Clayberg: You don’t even know how to process it. You just feel numb. I mean, where do you go from here?

Scott: Blake was killed in a car accident Monday night when, troopers say, he lost control of his SUV and was hit by an oncoming truck.

Blake’s story isn’t new. Every year, around 5,000 teens die in car wrecks. For the last eight years, those numbers had been dropping because of new restrictions on teen drivers and the focus on preventing distractions, like texting while driving. But this latest report says in the first six months of 2011, 16- and 17-year-old driving deaths rose 11%. One reason: as the economy improves, more teens can afford to drive. Blake was one of them. And now his classmates are honoring his memory.

“In the midst of all the sadness and heartbreak, we’ve been united. And we’ve really come through and comforted each other.”

Scott: You can help make the roads safer by joining our Pledge Now Text Later over at


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