Pennsylvania

Car Accidents the Leading Cause of Teen Deaths

It is all too common to hear about a teen dying due to a car accident. Now advocates are calling on the goverment to take action.

In 2015, the United States saw a 10% increase in young driver deaths, but no state has improved their driver safety laws in the past year.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, car accidents are the leading cause of death among 15 to 20 year-olds, killing 1,678 16 to 20 year-olds in 2014.

In 2015, 54% of teen deaths were due to not wearing a seatbelt, in 26% there was alcohol in the driver's system, and 36% of teen deaths were due to speeding.

How did this affect our area if 100% of people wore seatbelts while in a car in 2014?

In Delaware, where it is illegal to be in a car without wearing a seatbelt, 55 lives were saved becuase they were wearing a seatbelt, and 10 lives could have been saved. It is also illegal to not where a seatbelt in New Jersey where they saved 194 lives and could have saved 37.

In Pennsylvania, you can only get a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt if you're pulled over for something else first, but seatbelts saved 381 lives and could have saved 94 more.

While the number of teen deaths caused by accidents in 2015 increased in the rest of the nation, Pennsylvania saw a trend in the opposite direction.

Pennsylvania recorded the second lowest level of teen deaths since record keeping began in 1928. Pennsylvania saw 1,102 fatal crashes and 1,200 total deaths in 2015.

New Jersey has released records through 2016 and so far has seen an 11.2% increase in car accident deaths in the past year.

Delaware had 129 fatal crashes with 133 people killed in 2015.

What can we do to prevent this crisis and save young drivers?

Parents should ensure young drivers are wearing their seatbelts while driving, stress the safety of staying under the speed limit, and limit the distractions while driving.

If you have a passenger in the car, let them hold your phone. If you're alone in the car, keep your phone in the center console or glove box so the temptation isn't visible.

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