David S. Jasmer
Setting the Standard in Personal Injury
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Car accidents are the biggest killer of teens in the U.S.

The National Safety Council calls summer the "100 deadliest days for teen drivers". There has been a lot of emphasis lately by public safety experts about the importance of reducing distracted driving. In particular, teens are often mentioned as the main culprits of texting and other usage of electronic devices while driving. Ironically, it is not the distracted driving that results in the deaths of the largest number of teens; it's not wearing a seat belt.

According to statistics compiled by the international safety watchdog "Safe Kids Worldwide," over half the teens who died during car accidents in 2012 weren't wearing their seat belts. That number is stunning when you consider that the total for teen deaths that year was 2,439.

The car maker General Motors recently sponsored a study to determine why teens ages 13-19 don't wear their seat belts. Specifically, GM wanted to figure out why passengers riding with teens failed to wear seat belts. Their findings suggest that teens simply don't remember because buckling up is not a habit. An expert with the National Safety Council believes the reason may be that teens suffer from an invincibility complex as a result of their brains not being fully developed.

According to the GM "Teens in Cars" study, just putting the seat belt on reduces the risk of passenger riding in the front by 45 percent. The same study also found that teens that don't wear seat belts are more likely to text while driving than teens who buckle up.

Car accidents are a sad reality of our daily lives. We can teach teens safe driving habits but despite our best efforts, they still may become victims to a distracted or impaired driver. Parents of teens injured in preventable car accidents should know that a legal professional experienced in dealing personal injury lawsuits may be able to help them recover damages for their child's injuries.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Auto accidents biggest killer of teens; lack of safety belts, inexperience to blame" Robert Duffer, Jun. 19, 2014

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