Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for more than one in three deaths in this age group, according to a statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2008, nine teens ages 16 to 19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries. Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than older drivers to crash.
According to a statement from Allstate research group, a new analysis of crash data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that May 20 is the deadliest day for teens on the road, claiming 63 percent more young lives on average during the past five years.
The Washoe County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that it would increase patrols this weekend as teens graduate and often get behind the wheel after celebrating with alcoholic beverages.
Workers at the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s office also said the number of teen deaths they see increases around graduation time in northern Nevada.
“Once school starts getting out, we get a lot of teens,” said Elizabeth Beadle, an investigator and technician for the county medical examiner’s office. “(From) May through September, we see a lot of teens who die of acute alcohol intoxication.”
Data from IIHS also show that more than 60 percent of teen passenger deaths occur in vehicles driven by another teen. A recent survey by the Allstate Foundation found that more than 75 percent of teens admit to feeling unsafe with another teen’s driving but only 59 percent are willing to speak up in risky driving situations. Only 53 percent of teen girls report they will say something in dangerous situations on the road versus 66 percent of teen boys.
“I am very strict with my teenage daughter,” Beadle said. “She knows that she does not put herself in that situation.”
For more on Safe and Sober graduation, see the School Notes section.