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You may be surprised to know that out of all the major causes of deaths for teenagers, motor vehicle crashes tops the list. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, the specific demographics resides with ages 16 to 19 where approximately seven teens from this age group died every day from motor vehicle injuries.
Compared to young adults ages 20 and older, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are three times more like to be in a fatal crash. Research proves that preventable measures are possible to prevent such tragedies.
The Most Risky Group
The research demonstrates that 16 to 19 year-olds are at most risk for motor vehicle crashes. They are three times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes as compared to drivers aged 20 and older. A further breakdown reveals that the following three groups of people pose the greatest risks:
Males – In 2010, males were two times more likely than their women counterpart for motor vehicle death.
Teen driving with teen passengers – Teens accompanying other teens while unsurprised increases the risk for crash.
Newly licensed teens – New drivers are more vulnerable to crashes during the first months of licensure.
What are the Key Behaviors?
Teens do not demonstrate ability to recognized dangerous situations compared to older drivers
Teens speed more and allow for shorter headways (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the front of the next) compared to older drivers
In 2010, 39% of male drivers between 15 to 20 year-olds were speeding at the time of the crash, while 25% had been drinking.
Teens are less likely to consistently wear seat belts. In 2011, only 54% of high school students reported always wearing seat belts while riding with someone else.
Teens have a lower tolerance for all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) with the risk of crashes greater with teens than older drivers
Drinking caused 22% of drivers aged 15 to 20 to be involved in a motor vehicle crash
In 2011, 24% of teens indicated that they had ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol and 8% reported having driven after drinking.
In 2010, the lack of wearing a seat belt while drinking led to 56% of drivers aged 15 to 20 to be killed in motor vehicle crashes
In 2010, crashes occurring between 3pm to midnight were attributable to half the teen deaths and 55% happened on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday
More information may be found on the CDC website