Teenagers and seat belts

We have yet another teenager in our PICU with a severe brain injury from driving without wearing a seatbelt. You can read some statistics here, but there is no statistic that has the impact of seeing a brain-injured child lying comatose on a PICU bed. I see this far too often.

Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for adolescents aged 16-20. Although they account for only 6% of drivers, teenagers account for 14% of fatal crashes. The crash rate among 16-year-old drivers is especially high — nine times that of the general population. Although seat belt use among the general population has increased steadily, adolescents, especially boys, are among the least likely to use them. If you are the parent of a teenager, do whatever it takes to get them to buckle up.


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