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Teen Passengers Making Better Safety Choices

Risky behavior by teen car passengers is on the decline, according to a new national report by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm. The study, which took place from 2008 to 2011, shows that teens are making better safety choices when it comes to riding in cars with others.

More Lives Saved

Over the period of the study, more than half of teen passengers reported “always” wearing seatbelts. The report showed the number of teens ages 15 to 19 killed in crashes that were not wearing seat belts decreased 23 percent.

More teens are deciding not to get in the car with a drunk driver. The number of teen passengers driven by someone who had been drinking declined 14 percent. Less than a quarter of teens say they ride with drivers who were drinking

Thirty percent fewer teen passengers were killed in crashes involving a teen driver during this period. Overall, the report measured a 47 percent decline in teen driver-related fatalities.

The Flip Side of Safety

Despite these gains, there is still significant need for improvement in several areas associated with teen driving safety. Areas in need of improvement include reducing distracted driving, speed management, and increased seat belt use. All of these will improve a teen’s chance of survival in a crash.

Accidents Remain Lethal

Automobile accidents still remain the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. The following list details the main causes of these fatal accidents:

• 58 percent of teen drivers killed in crashes were not wearing a seatbelt
• 52 percent of drivers killed in crashes were speeding
• 33 percent of teens recently texted or emailed while driving
• 8 percent of teens recently drove a car after drinking