Leading Cause of Teen Deaths: Car Accidents

For teenagers between the ages of 16 and 20 years old car accidents are the leading cause of death. According to Jane E. Brody of the New York Times, approximately 5,500 teenagers die each year in car accidents. According to Pediatrics, the journal of The American Academy of Pediatrics, 450,000 teenagers are injured in automobile accidents each year with approximately 27,000 requiring hospitalization.

Boys account for two-thirds of the teenagers who die in automobile accidents. Of the teens that are killed, 63% are drivers and 37% are passengers. Even though teenagers only make up 6% of drivers on the road, they are involved in 14% of all fatal accidents.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents require their teenage drivers to sign a “driving contract” that covers such things as when a teenager can use the car and who can ride with them. The driving contract can also contain such things as where and how fast the car can be driven, require the teens to wear seatbelts, no cell phone use while driving and other things that can increase teenage driver safety. If any of the provisions of the contract are violated, the teenager’s driving privileges will be revoked.