ADOLESCENT DEATHS TO INJURY
The National Center for Health Statistics reports
that the two leading causes of deaths due to external
causes among adolescents are motor vehicle crashes
and firearms. In 2000, motor vehicle crashes caused
the deaths of 5,149 15- to 19-year-olds. The vast
majority of those killed were in motor vehicles, either
as passengers or the driver. Deaths of pedestrians,
motorcyclists, and others accounted for the remainder
of motor vehicle mortality among teenagers.
Results of the 2001 Youth Risk Behavior Survey revealed
that 14.1 percent of students had rarely or never
worn seat belts when riding in a car driven by someone
else. Additionally, 30.7 percent of students had ridden
on one or more occasions with a driver who had been
drinking alcohol in the 30 days preceding the survey.
In 2000, 2,524 15- to 19-year-olds were killed by
firearms. Of these, homicide accounted for 59 percent
of firearm deaths among teenagers, 35 percent were
suicide, and 4 percent were considered to be unintentional.