CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, recent studies reveal the number of 16 and 17-year old driver deaths in passenger vehicles have increased.
They compared driver deaths from the first 6 months of 2011 to the first 6 months of 2012.
In the Heartland the numbers vary.
State 2011 2012
Arkansas 4 5
Tennessee 6 16
Illinois 12 12
Kentucky 6 12
Missouri 10 8
Iowa 3 4
Kansas 2 4
Lynn Ware, the Coordinator for the Safe Communities Program in Cape Girardeau said teens should wear their seat belt, put down the cell phone, limit the number of people in their car, and use common sense while driving.
Ware said they are also monitoring high schools with less than 50 percent of kids wearing a seatbelt, and educating the students on the dangers.
"You continually have kids growing up, and going up to the next grade, the next grade, the next grade, the high school, they move on, and then you have the middle school, junior high, then they get to high school, so we have to continue to educate," said Ware.
Ware said it's also important for parents to set a good example by wearing a seatbelt themselves, and talking to their kids about the importance of safe driving.
"When you get a vehicle, you don't drive just for yourself, you have to drive for the other people that are out there too, you just have to drive that home, you know you're not out there by yourself, and you know what it's all about saving lives," said Ware.