News Column

Michael Cerussi Speaks Out on Rising Death Rates for Teen Drivers

Apr 3 2013 12:00AM



NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 04/03/13 -- Michael Cerussi, owner of Cerussi Driving School, has issued comment on new research that illustrates that car crash death rates are slowly rising for teen drivers. Adolescents, particularly 16 and 17-year-olds, are perishing in car crashes at an alarmingly high rate, and the numbers continue to rise. The death rate for this age group jumped 19 percent nationwide, with 240 killed in the first six months of 2012, according to findings released by the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Speaking out on these statistics, Jonathan Adkins, deputy executive director of the GHSA, states, "The numbers are small but important, since we know teen drivers kill other teens and other road users. States, the federal government, and the private sector target a lot of attention and money to these young drivers, so it is logical to examine how they're doing."

Information about the rise of teenage deaths seems to foreshadow facts about the overall increase in highway deaths in 2012, which negated several years of decline that were attributed to improved vehicle and highway safety protocol and crackdowns on drunken and distracted driving.

Early statistics indicate that fatalities have seen a 7.1 percent jump in the first nine months of 2012, which is the biggest rise over that time span since federal officials started collecting traffic death data during 1975. Though numbers for the year as a whole may reflect a similar increase, officials explain that the stats are a comparison to figures from 2011, when deaths plummeted to their lowest level in more than 60 years.

Allan Williams, a traffic safety researcher who conducted the study notes, "We are still at a much better place than we were ten or even five years earlier. However, the goal is to strive toward zero deaths, so our aim would be that these deaths should go down every year." Williams notes that the increase in teen fatalities often happens because state graduated-licensing laws have leveled off. These programs put restrictions on the number of passengers a teen can carry and nighttime driving abilities.

Michael Cerussi comments on this noting, "Unfortunately, teen drivers are at risk each time they get behind the wheel due to inexperience. By cutting down on the number of passengers and other hazards, like nighttime driving, adults can help keep young people safe as they learn to navigate the roadways. These measures are an important part of programs for new drivers."

The GHSA report notes that in the first half of 2012, deaths of 16-year-old motorists increased to 107 from 86, a jump of 24 percent, while the figures for 17-year-old drivers increased to 130 from 116, or 15 percent. This is a cumulative increase of 19 percent.

Michael Cerussi states that understanding these statistics can help paint an accurate picture of how safe teen drivers are when they are out on the roads; the figures also show where policies could use improvement.


Michael Cerussi created Cerussi Driving School in 1998. The program teaches young drivers a wide range of skills, including the finer points of defensive driving. The school has 20 staff members, all of whom provide essential information to the pupils. The dangers of drunken driving remain another important point of focus in the curriculum.

Source: Marketwire

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