HARRISONBURG -- The Governors Highway Safety Association released a report on Tuesday which shows a 19-percent increase of teen driver deaths during the last year.
Jerry Fawley is a driving instructor at Shenandoah Valley Driving School. He said he's seen a lot of teen drivers die in crashes here in the Valley during the last year.
Fawley said most young drivers crash from speeding, inexperience and distractions. He said he tries to teach his students about these issues before they get their driving license, but that doesn't guarantee a teen's safety once he or she is driving alone.
He said the latest spike in teen deaths likely comes from distracted driving.
"That is, I think the contributing factor,” said Fawley, “We've always had inexperience and speed and then, now the distractions were before, it was just other students in the car, other teenagers in the car."
Fawley said now, the distractions aren't just having friends in the car. It's having an increase of technology, like cellphones and GPS systems that take away the attention of drivers.
Follow Amelia Nahmias on Facebook.
© Copyright 2014 WHSV / Gray Television Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.