This content has been clinically reviewed by Maneesha Agarwal, M.D.
As parents, we do everything we can to protect our children as they grow up. We buckle them into car safety seats, enroll them in swimming lessons and nag them about wearing a helmet when they ride their bikes.
But when they reach 16, and head out into the world as the driver of a car, we can only hope that they'll heed our words: "Be careful and wear your seat belt.
Unfortunately, statistics show that many teenagers don't listen.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers. Further, more than half of teens who die in car crashes weren't wearing a seat belt, a statistic that hasn't substantially changed over the last decade even though research shows that seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half.
Distracted driving is a major issue, too, as teens use their cell phones to talk, text and even take selfies while driving.
A Safe Kids Georgia survey of 1,000 teens found that teenagers who don’t use seat belts are more likely to say they also text while driving than those who do wear seat belts – meaning one small act of precaution really could be a lifesaver.