(UNDATED) - The Indiana State Police say teen drivers lack experience and are more likely to be distracted while operating a vehicle.
Indiana has one of the highest rates of teen driver fatalities in the country, according to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association tracked the number of fatal accidents in early 2012.
Indiana had 16 teen driver deaths in just the first six months of the year, up from only three in the first six months of 2011. Nationally, 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths increased from 202 to 240, which is a 19 percent jump.
Indiana State Police Sergeant Joe Watts believes young drivers just have less driving experience overall. He says there is lower seat belt usage among those drivers in fatal crashes that are 15 to 20 years of age.
"[We] hope that the young drivers would feel the need to pay attention at all times, especially when there's cell phone usage, and especially when there's young passengers or other distractions inside the vehicle," he says. "We simply cannot stress that enough."
He adds there is some alcohol involvement, some speeding involved and then there is some passenger and driver distractions.
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