Teen drivers in California and throughout the country may be in more danger on the road based on statistics showing that for the first time since 2007, traffic fatalities are on the rise. Furthermore, in 2015, the percentage increase over the previous year was the largest in five decades. The leading cause of death for teenagers is car accidents, and a Governors Highway Safety Association report found that the largest percentage increase in fatalities on the road between 2014 and 2015 was among teenagers. Around 3,000 teenagers die each year in motor vehicle accidents.
One question is why overall fatalities are on the rise just as safety technology has increased. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that human error, and distracted driving in particular, were responsible for a significant proportion of the increase. Fatalities due to distracted driving went up almost 9 percent in 2015 while those from failing to wear seat belts increased almost 5 percent and those associated with speeding or impaired driving went up around 3 percent each.