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Keeping Teens Safe on the Roadways

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susan_harr6 years ago

More than 5,000 teens (15 – 20 years old) are killed in crashes on our roadways every year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Many of these teens were not wearing their seat belt. Alarmingly enough, NHTSA found that teens buckle up far less frequently than adults do, even if adults in the car are buckled up.

The Solution- Seat Belts

Teens have the highest fatality rate in motor vehicle crashes than any other age group, according to a report by Buckle up America. This is partly due to the fact that teens are part of an age group that is found to rarely wear seat belts. NHTSA cites seat belts as the best preventative safety measure for protecting occupants in a car crash. Below are some teen crash stats provided by NHTSA:

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 to 20 year olds in the United States
  • Teen drivers (16 to 19 years old) have a fatality rate that is about four times higher than the fatality rate among drivers 25 through 69 years old
  • In 2006, the majority (58%) of young people 16 to 20 years old involved in fatal crashes were unbuckled 
  • Seat belt use among teens and young adults (16 to 24 years old) stood at 76 percent in 2006 – the lowest of any age group
  • In 2007, 4,540 teenagers aged 16 to 20 years old were killed in motor vehicle crashes, and more than half (2,502) were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash
  • Lap/shoulder belts, when used properly, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50 percent
  • For light truck occupants, safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 60 percent and moderate-to-critical injury by 65 percent

Tips for Parents

Set the rules: Create firm seat belt rules for your teens. Examples:

  • A ticket for no seat belt means suspension of car privileges for 2 months
  • Seatbelts must always be on when the car is coming or leaving (teens could put on/take off seat belt when they come and go, but soon it will be easier just to leave it on.)

Set an example: If you want your teen to wear a seat belt, lead by example.

  • When everyone is in the car, everyone should wear a seat belt.
  • Teens that grew up wearing seat belts are more likely to wear them when they drive on their own. The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety found that when adults buckle up, 87% of children use seat belts, too- those children will be teen drivers one day.
Contact an Experienced Accident Attorney

Because of the serious consequences of car accidents, a law firm experienced in these matters is crucial in order to preserve your rights. Thomas J. Henry have a proven track record of success in handling car accident cases and fighting for what injured victims deserve. Contact us 24/7, nights and weekends for immediate assistance.


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