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Eleven teens died on Virginia roads during the first three weks of January 2012. The same period of 2011 saw only three such fatalities. Those numbers were released in a report last week by the traffic safety group Youth of Virginia Speak Out.

That is a significant increase, and the organization is working with the Blue Ridge Regional Crash Investigation Teams to raise awareness and encourage teens to be safety-conscious. In reporting the most-recent numbers, the two groups highlighted these factors in deadly crashes:

  • Speed, distraction/inattention and running of the road
  • Not wearing a seat belt, which occurred in 45 percent of the accidents
  • Alcohol use.

To stop the alarming trend, the groups are asking everyone to get involved. Parents should monitor their children’s driving and establish clear rules about what young drivers shoud never do while behind the wheel. Also, schools should inform students about the increase in teen fatalities in Virginia while giving constant reminders about using seat belts and turning off cell phones while driving.

For more information on these organizations, visit their Web sites at and

About the Editors: The Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

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