Child Health USA 2006
Photographs of children's faces
Health Status > Adolescents

from traffic and firearm injuries

The two leading mechanisms of injury deaths among adolescents are motor vehicle crashes and firearms. In 2004, motor vehicle traffic caused the deaths of 5,113 adolescents 15 to 19 years of age. The vast majority of those killed were in motor vehicle accidents 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 Survey 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.

In 2004, 2,494 adolescents aged 15 to 19 years were killed by firearms. Of these, homicide accounted for 65 percent of firearm deaths, suicide accounted for 32 percent, and 3 percent were considered unintentional.


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Child Health USA 2006 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Child Health USA 2006. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006.