A report issued today shows Tennessee, along with Indiana, leading the nation for the number of teen driving deaths for the first six months of 2012 when compared to the same time in 2011, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
Nationwide, there was an overall increase in teen traffic fatalties jumping from 201 to 240 - an increase of 19 percent.
In Tennessee, the number of fatalities increased by 10 going from six to 16. Alabama also had a sharp spike of teen deaths jumping from three deaths to 12. Georgia teen deaths actually decreased by one going from six to five, according to the 14-page report.
While the study cites improved economic conditions and fewer states improving the graduated driver licensing programs as reasons for the overall increase in teen deaths nationwide, local authorities cite teens not wearing seat belts and distracted driving as reasons for teen driving deaths.
For more on this story, read Wednesday's Times Free Press.