A new report by Safe Kids Worldwide is sounding the alarm. Teens are not buckling up when behind the wheel or when passengers in vehicles with other teens. This report on possible reasons why more teens die in motor vehicle crashes than from any other cause of death notes that in half of the fatal crashes involving teens, the young person was not wearing a seat belt.
The Safe Kids report, “Teens in Cars” is an effort to find ways to reduce the number of teens killed in cars, currently about 2,500 per year. The report is based on answers gathered in a national survey of 1,000 teen passengers and drivers ages 13 to 19 and looks at why they aren’t buckling up, what their distracted driving habits are and how they behave when they feel unsafe in a car.
Some key findings of the report include:
• One in four teens surveyed said they don’t use a seat belt on every ride.
• The top reasons they gave for not buckling up were the following: they forgot or it was not a habit (34 percent), they were not going far (16 percent), or the seat belt was not comfortable (11 percent).
• Thirty-nine percent of teens said they have ridden with a teen driver who was texting.
• Forty-three percent of teens reported riding as a passenger with a teen driver who was talking on a phone.
• Forty-nine percent of teens in the survey reported feeling concerned for their safety when riding with a teen driver.
• When in a car with someone driving dangerously, only four in ten teens said they asked the driver to stop, but almost the same number said they did nothing.
To read a copy of the full report, visit https://www.safekids.org/listing/research-report.