Traffic Deaths: Top Cause of Death for Teens
CALIFORNIA (June 10, 2022) — Parents and teenagers view graduation and prom season from vastly different points of view.
For teens, it’s the end of high school, time to celebrate with friends and begin their entrée into adulthood. Parents, on the other hand, want their kids to have fun, but they tend to brace themselves for the worse. After all, most moms and dads are all too familiar with the scary headlines involving teenage drivers that they’ve seen over the years. Indeed, news of tragic deaths and serious injuries, tends to leave an indelible mark on communities. Particularly, if it happens to young people before or after their senior proms and graduation parties.
The nightmare is all too real for some teenagers. That’s why parents do everything they can to prevent tragedies from happening in the first place, whether it’s prom, graduation or anytime a young person gets behind the wheel. Indeed, the top cause of death for teens ages 13 to 19 years old is traffic accidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Roughly three times the death rate of all adults over 20 years old.
The harsh reality is that teenagers are more likely to die in a collision than their parents.
Additionally, motor vehicle fatalities represent more than one-third of all deaths by teenagers ages 12 to 19, according to the CDC.
Furthermore, statistics also show that 1 in 5 of teens who die in a fatal crash were drinking, according to the Automobile Club.
Drinking and driving is a factor in roughly a third of all fatal crashes. In fact, every day, roughly 28 people die in America due to drunk-driving car crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that DUI driving was trending down before the pandemic, but is now trending upwards. In fact, alcohol more accepted and accessible making it the number one drug of choice for young people, according to MADD.
Roughly 6 percent of students recently surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admitted they drove while drinking within the past 30 days. Furthermore, nearly 17% of those teens also admitted to riding in a vehicle with a driver who had been drinking.
5 Ways to Reduce Teenage Traffic Deaths
- Wear a seatbelt. Most deaths in traffic accidents involve someone not wearing a seatbelt. In fact, 51 percent of the 23,824 passenger vehicle deaths 2020 were people not wearing a seat belt — the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Hire Uber, Taxi, Limousine. The cost of hiring a rideshare, taxi or limo is worth the investment to ensure a safe ride home.
- Drop off/pick up teens at parties. Parents may opt to drop off their teenagers and pick them up at parties.
- Don’t Drink/Designate a driver. If you suspect your teen might be drinking, ask them to designate a driver who doesn’t drink.
- No driving after 12 a.m. Most crashes or near-misses happen when drivers are tired and after bars closes when drivers are most often drunk, according to the National Safety Council.
Johnson Attorneys Group provides this information as a guide to help families make good choices. However, if you would like to contribute any information or have legal questions, please contact us as soon as possible. Our law firm is a proud, longtime supporter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).