Are those under 19 really at risk for fatal crash injuries?

You love your children, and you never want to see them get into a collision. They're growing up, and that means that driving is on the radar. You want to keep them safe, but what do you really need to know about crashes involving young children or teens?

Motor vehicle crashes result in approximately 68 children between the ages of 15 and 19 dying each year in Tennessee. It's a fact that these crashes are the leading cause of death for Tennessee's teens along with those between the ages of 1 and 14.

Why are these age groups at such a high risk of injury?

The reason young children are at risk is partially attributed to a failure to use car seats or a failure to use them properly. To help resolve this issue, the Tennessee Department of Health has a child safety fund that helps purchase and distribute car seats to families in need.

For teens, seat belt use is a major concern. Additionally, teens are new at driving and may make mistakes that put them at a higher risk of getting into a crash.

How can you prevent crash injuries in your household?

The main thing to do is to make sure your teens and children buckle up correctly. Wearing a seat belt or sitting in the right car seat makes a difference. If you have a teen in the home, it's worth discussing the dangers of drinking and driving along with the risk of a crash due to distractions like texting or talking with friends in the car.

Taking steps to talk to your child before he or she drives is wise, since it helps bring attention to issues that could affect your child's life. If he or she is in a crash, it's also necessary to know what steps to take. Sit down and have a conversation, so you know your child is prepared for the road.

Source: Tennessee Department of Health, "Motor Vehicle Crashes," accessed April 03, 2018

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