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Car Crashes No. 1 Killer of Teenagers in US

It’s a rite of passage for every teenager: getting a driver’s license, or at least for many teens these days. Our friends at the Detroit Bureau wrote a very interesting article regarding new drivers and the number one cause of death among teens in the United States.

Part of that ritual is the inevitable lecture from parents about how driving is a big responsibility and that is not to be taken lightly. That sermon comes from a good place, even if most parents don’t fully understand how very important it may be.

According to a new National Safety Council poll, 76% of parents don’t know that the biggest threat to their child’s safety is that 2,500-pound behemoth sitting in the driveway: car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens in the U.S.


“Parents tend to worry most about the things we hear in the news, like cyber bullying and drug and alcohol use,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council.

“But car crashes are the number one killer of teens. Ensuring our most vulnerable drivers safely gain the experience they need will result in more teens attending prom and graduation, not their friends’ funerals.”

While cars, trucks and sport-utes are safer now than ever, drivers face more distractions than ever, which balances out the safety improvements. Teens are especially susceptible to things like texting while driving, talking to other passengers, etc.

A few important points about teens behind the wheel:

  • Other teen passengers are one of the biggest distractions for teen drivers. Just one teen passenger raises a teen driver’s fatal crash risk 44%. Two passengers doubles fatal crash risk. Three or more quadruples crash risk.
  • Most fatal nighttime crashes involving teen drivers happen between 9 p.m. and midnight.
  • More than half of teens killed in car crashes were not restrained by a seatbelt.

These points are all representative of one overriding factor: experience or a lack thereof. Teens crash most often because they don’t have the experience to deal with many situations they’ll come across when behind the wheel.

For more information, and the remainder of the article, click here. If you have any questions about your teenage driver and how you can articulate safety behind the wheel, contact any one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop!

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