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Survey: Car Accidents Are Leading Cause of Teen Deaths

According to a recent report by the Center for Disease Control, car accidents are now the leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S. The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) estimates that more than one-third of teen fatalities are the result of car accidents. Furthermore, about 78 percent of all deaths by unintentional injuries involving 12-19 year olds are caused by car accidents. Car accidents now account for 48 percent of all teenage deaths in the U.S.

The report found that an average of 16,375 youth (12-19) died annually in car accidents from 1999 to 2006. Surprisingly, this number is less than one percent of all death annually in the U.S. Other leading causes of teenage death are homicide (13 percent), suicide (11 percent), cancer (6 percent) and heart disease (3 percent).   

Furthermore, the CDC report found that among teens, non-Hispanic African American males have the highest car accident death rate. However, homicide is still the leading cause for this group. The report says that non-Hispanic African American teens are 37 percent more likely to die in a car accident than Hispanic and non-Hispanic white teenagers. 

Survey results showed that teenage males are more likely to die in a crash than women, with older teens at higher risk than younger ones. Interestingly, at age 19, males are three times more likely to die from a car crash then females. What might amaze readers is that beginning at age 12 and ending at 19, the death rates among teenage males increases each year by 32 percent and 19.5 percent for females.

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