Increase in Teen Driving Deaths

Highway driving (AP)
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Safety officials say deaths of teen drivers increased sharply in the first six months of last year, reversing a decade-long trend.

A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association says deaths of 16- and 17-year-old drivers in traffic accidents in the first six months of 2012 were up 19 percent over the same period in the previous year. The association represents state highway safety offices.

Deaths of novice drivers dropped dramatically from 2000 to 2011. Traffic fatalities overall declined to historic lows during that time as well, although not as steeply as deaths of young drivers.

Federal data on traffic deaths for all of 2012 won't be available until later this year. An increase in traffic deaths overall is expected.