Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Car Crash Deaths Increase Starting At Age 12

Date:
March 4, 2008
Source:
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Summary:
Child passengers, ages 12 to 16, are more likely to die in a car crash than younger children, according to a new study. This risk increases with each teenage year. The study offers evidence-based guidelines for parents and policymakers to help protect this vulnerable age group. Researchers examined 45,560 crashes involving 8- to 17-year-old passengers.

Child passengers, ages 12 to 16, are more likely to die in a car crash than younger children, according to a study just released in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. This risk increases with each teenage year.

Conducted as part of an on-going research collaboration between The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and State Farm Insurance Companies, the study offers evidence-based guidelines for parents and policymakers to help protect this vulnerable age group. Researchers examined 45,560 crashes involving 8- to 17-year-old passengers.

Between 2000 and 2005, 9,807 passengers in this age group died in crashes. "We saw a clear tipping point between ages 12 and 14, where child passengers became much more likely to die in a crash than their younger counterparts," says Flaura Koplin-Winston, M.D., Ph.D., founder and co-scientific director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at CHOP.

"Long before these children ever receive a learner's permit, they begin to exhibit a pattern that looks more like the high fatality rates we see for teen drivers." Of the nearly 10,000 passenger deaths studied by the CHOP researchers,more than half (54.4 percent) were riding with a driver under age 20; nearly two-thirds were unrestrained; and more than three-quarters of the crashes occurred on roads with posted speed limits above 45-miles-per-hour.

Alcohol was also a factor in one-fifth of the fatal crashes. Previous research has shown that as children grow into adolescence, they are more likely to ride in cars with drivers other than their parents, such as classmates, friends, or older siblings.

After controlling for a variety of factors, researchers found key predictors that pose the greatest risk to older child passengers. "Riding with drivers younger than 16 years old, not wearing seat belts, and riding on higher speed roads are the three biggest factors contributing to an older child being killed in a crash," says Dr. Winston. "Knowing the risks can help parents and teens make smart decisions about which rides are safe, and which ones are off limits." "We should not accept teen crash deaths as random accidents," says Laurette Stiles, vice president of Strategic Resources of State Farm.

"These deaths are preventable. Our hope is that teens, parents and policy makers will work together to develop a culture of safe, smart passengers by providing guidance, and reinforcing safe behaviors throughout the teen years." CHOP researchers recommend these tips to help parents protect their children from an unsafe driving situation:

  1. Insist on seat belts. All occupants should buckle up on every trip,every time.
  2. Set a good example. Don't drink and drive. Avoid distractions like cell phones. Obey the speed limit.
  3. Set rules about safe passenger behaviors. Discuss what's helpful or distracting to a driver.
  4. Monitor your child's travel. Know where he or she is going, with whom, how they are getting there, and when they will be home.
  5. Know and trust the driver. It's not safe for your child to ride with a teen who has less than one year of driving experience.

In addition, Dr. Winston says that changes in policy, coupled withenforcement, can help to protect teen drivers and their passengers. Optimalgraduated driver licensing (GDL) laws that emphasize a lengthened learner's phase beginning at 16, as well as nighttime driving and passenger restrictions during the intermediate phase can help reduce the risk for teens. Primary seat belt laws for all occupants to at least age 18 are also recommended.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Car Crash Deaths Increase Starting At Age 12." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080303212740.htm>.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. (2008, March 4). Car Crash Deaths Increase Starting At Age 12. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080303212740.htm
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Car Crash Deaths Increase Starting At Age 12." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080303212740.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uganda on Alert for Ebola but No Confirmed Cases

Uganda on Alert for Ebola but No Confirmed Cases

AFP (July 31, 2014) Uganda's health minister said on Thursday that there are no confirmed cases of Ebola in the country, but that it remained on alert for cases of the deadly virus. Uganda has suffered Ebola outbreaks in the past, most recently in 2012. Duration: 00:59 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins