South New Jersey is far from the hustle and bustle of New York and therefore quite unlike the northern portion of the state. That is not to say that South Jersey does not have its fair share of problem, however. In fact, a recent report shows that South New Jersey is seeing a marked increase in the number teen driver related vehicle crashes.

According to the South Jersey Traffic Safety Alliance:

“Teen drivers typically only account for 12 to 15 percent of the deaths,” SJTSA Program Manager Teresa Thomas said. “But for 2012, they are responsible for 36 percent in South Jersey.”

Of the 28 fatal motor vehicle crashes that took place in Cumberland, Salem, Atlantic and Cape May counties in the first six months of this year, 10 involved drivers between the ages of 16 and 20.

That is nearly double the number of teen driving fatalities they have come to expect to see in a year, and even worse when you consider that is a number they are actively trying to reduce year after year. The information for SJTSA report was gathered directly from the New Jersey State Police who track every vehicle crash, its cause and determining factor, daily.

It is no doubt disheartening to see an increase in deadly crashes by teen drivers in a state which has used a graduated licensing program for many years now and had been seeing a marked decline in the number of teen driving deaths. The graduated licensing program required teens to drive only under adult supervision for a period of time before gradually being given more leeway to drive on their own.

It seems likely that this most recent report will result in further examination of teen driving safety and perhaps a flurry of public safety awareness campaigns to counter this most deadly of trends.

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