The state of Georgia was one of just a handful of states which bucked the national trend in teen driving deaths and saw a decline in those inexperienced drivers killed behind the wheel.

Nationally teen driving has been slowly climbing, but in Georgia the number of teens killed in 2012 went down to 23 in 2012 from 37 in 2011. This is half the number of teen drivers killed ten years earlier when more than 45 teen drivers were killed on Georgia roadways.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for teenagers. This statistic has held true for decades as states and the federal government struggle to find effective ways to fix the problem. According to traffic safety experts a number of factors are at issue. Namely, teenagers are inexperienced drivers and prone to distraction. A recent spike in the number of handheld devices and the proliferation of texting, specifically by teenagers, has only added to the problem.

A number of states have already passed laws banning texting while driving. Georgia is among the states which bans texting by all drivers, but it also has a state law which bans the use of any handheld or hands-free device by novice drivers. This is mostly impactful for teenage drivers, and includes any driver under the age of 18. It also allows police officers to stop drivers they witness or believe are violating the law and write citations on the spot.

No doubt now that Georgia has seen a decline in the number of teen driving deaths other states will begin looking at existing state laws there and adapting them to their own use. At least, they will if they want to increase their chance at decreasing teen driving deaths.