Car crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers in America. In 2012, 2,439 teens were killed. Now a new study conducted by SafeKids Worldwide finds there is growing cause for concern.
In the study, 25% of teens admitted they don't buckle up on every ride. 39% admit riding with a fellow teen driver who was texting. And 28% have been with a parent driver who was also texting behind the wheel. "Teens who were texting often had parents who were texting or on the phone and involved in distracted driving," said Kate Carr of SafeKids Worldwide.
Even before this new study it was known that teen driving was risky. In fact, just having someone under the age of 21 in a car with a teen driver increases the risk of a crash by 44%.
Memorial Day kicked off what experts call the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers. From Memorial Day through Labor Day in 2012, nearly 1,000 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers, and more than 550 of those killed were teens, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data analyzed by the nonprofit National Safety Council. One of the biggest reasons for the summer risk increase is that teens are driving more frequently with more of their friends.