Leading cause of death for teens? Three-fourths of parents don’t know, survey shows

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Seventy-six percent of parents are unaware that motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death among teens, according to the results of a recent National Safety Council survey.

“The statistics have shown this for years, yet too many parents still do not appreciate that the first year of driving is a particularly deadly time in a teen’s life,” Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of NSC, said in a press release.

However, 72 percent of parents surveyed correctly identified lack of experience or poor decision-making as the leading causes of crashes involving teens. The results also showed that many parents do not enforce rules that help reduce crash risk among teens, and 44 percent said they do not supervise their teens’ driving for the recommended amount of time during the restricted licensing stage.

The main issues associated with teen drivers are impaired driving, nighttime driving, driving with other young passengers in the vehicle, not enough practice behind the wheel, and distracted driving.

The survey results were released to coincide with National Teen Driver Safety Week (Oct. 18-24).