Adolescent Mortality from Traffic and Firearm Injuries
The two leading mechanisms of injury death among adolescents are motor vehicle crashes and firearms. In 2005, the latest year for which data are available, motor vehicle traffic caused the deaths of 4,829 adolescents 15–19 years of age. The vast majority of those killed were in motor vehicle crashes as either a passenger or driver. Deaths of pedestrians, motorcyclists, and others accounted for the remainder of motor vehicle mortality among adolescents.
Results of the 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System revealed that 10.2 percent of high school students had rarely or never worn seat belts when riding in a car driven by someone else. Additionally, in the 30 days preceding the survey, 28.5 percent of students had ridden on one or more occasions with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.1
In 2005, 2,623 adolescents aged 15–19 years were killed by firearms, a rate of 12.4 per 100,000 adolescents. Of these, homicide accounted for 66 percent of firearm deaths, suicide accounted for 28 percent, and 4 percent were considered unintentional. The 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System indicated that 5.4 percent of high school students carried a gun on one or more days during the past month, a behavior that could contribute to firearm mortalities.2
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Youth risk behavior surveillance: United States, 2005. MMWR, Vol. 55, No. SS-5; 2006.↑
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Youth risk behavior surveillance: United States, 2005. MMWR, Vol. 55, No. SS-5; 2006.↑