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Teenagers at risk: Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens

In 2005, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that car wrecks are the leading cause of death for teenagers between the fifteen and nineteen. About 6,000 teenagers a year die in car crashes.  
Their deaths occur at a time when their lives should be full of possibility. This is devastating to family and friends.  The teenage death rate is four times that of drivers age 25-29 and teenage accident rates are increasing.  
 
There are several reasons why teenagers are at risk behind the wheel.  Teens lack experience driving and they are more likely to engage in risky behavior.  
 
Underage drinking was a factor in 31 percent of teenage driving fatalities.
When surveyed, the majority of teens admit to texting or using a cell phone while driving.
Forty-eight percent of girls admitted to speeding and driving aggressively.
Thirty-six percent of boys admitted to speeding and driving aggressively.
In fatal car crashes involving teenagers, 39 percent of males and 24 percent of females were speeding.
Only 77 percent of teens use a seat belt. This is the lowest rate of seat belt use for any age group.
Teenage passengers are not likely to tell a teenage driver if they are concerned about safety.  They would ratherisk their lives riding with a driver who has been drinking than risk social rejection.
Teen drivers tend to overestimate their driving abilities.  Most teens believe they are good, experienced drivers.  However, teens who  described themselves as safe drivers also admitted to driving at speeds greater than 100 m.p.h.
Teens are easily distracted when driving with friends. Distracted driving increases the risk of a fatal accident.
 
Losing a child to a car accident is devastating.  If you have lost your teen to an Atlanta area traffic accident, The Law Offices of Shane Smith would like to offer you our condolences and our support.  We are very sorry for your loss and would like to offer our help.  If you have questions about your legal rights, contact our office at 770-HURT-999.
 

Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia