Teen Deaths In Car Crashes On The Rise04:57
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This photo released by the Leicester, Mass., Police Department shows a car early Saturday, April 21, 2007, at the scene where four teenagers died Friday night in a high-speed crash that left a fifth teen hospitalized in critical condition. (Leicester Police/AP)
This photo released by the Leicester, Mass., Police Department shows a car early Saturday, April 21, 2007, at the scene where four teenagers died Friday night in a high-speed crash that left a fifth teen hospitalized in critical condition. (Leicester Police/AP)

New numbers from the Governors Highway Safety Association show a significant spike in teens deaths from auto accidents.

Preliminary data shows 240 crash deaths of 16- and 17-year-olds in the first half of 2012 - an increase of 19 percent.

Seventeen states saw decreases, and eight states and the District of Columbia reported no change.

Overall numbers for highway deaths also increased last year, after years of decline.

Researchers behind the data speculate that the increase in teen deaths could be attributed to a plateau in the benefits of graduated licensing programs, as well as an increase in teen driving due to improved economic conditions.

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This segment aired on February 27, 2013.

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