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Traffic Crashes — The Leading Cause of Teen Deaths

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Safe Teen Driving Week begins June 12

National Safety Council

As a parent of teenagers, I am particularly grateful to the National Safety Council for developing a great internet resource for safer teen driving. The website was launched in conjunction with the NSC’s “Promote Safe Teen Driving Week,” June 12-18.

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for American teens. Indeed, there are 15 auto crashes every day involving drivers aged 15 to 20. But those crashes don’t just injure teens. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2 out of 3 fatalities in crashes involving teenaged drivers are individuals other than the teen driver.

NHTSA chart showing causes of teen deaths

NHTSA chart

A number of factors combine to make teen driving particularly hazardous, including the deadly mix of inexperience and immaturity combined with high-risk teen behaviors such as speeding; drinking; drug use; cell phone use; texting; and distractions from teen passengers to list just a few.

I encourage teens and parents of teens to visit the NSC teen driving website this week and download a free copy of the publication, Teen Driver: A Family Guide to Teen Driver Safety.