According to new research from medical and insurance experts, 30 percent of teenagers involved in serious car accidents suffer head injuries including concussions, skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries. The Insurance Journal reports results of the study conducted by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm, which highlights a steady decline in teen driver–related fatalities over the last six years. However, researchers say car accidents remain the leading cause of death for teenagers and kill nearly five times as many 15- to 19-year-olds as cancer or poisoning. The research study examined data involving 55,000 teen drivers and their passengers who sustained serious injuries in the years 2009 and 2010.
Head injuries, especially traumatic brain injuries, can have life-changing consequences for young people and their families. The brain, according to doctors who performed the research, is the organ that is “least able to heal.” So, they say that prevention is the best medicine when it comes to traumatic brain injuries.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are the leading cause of brain injury-related death among those 15 to 19 years of age. Between 2005 and 2010, thanks to graduated licensing (GDL) programs in various states, fatal crashes involving teens declined by 46 percent. Deaths among teen passengers also declined by 41 percent. Five states including New Jersey have maintained rates of less than 10 crash-related deaths per 100,000 teens since 2005-2006. All five states have comprehensive GDL laws.
Keeping Teens Safe
The research study makes recommendations to further reduce catastrophic head injuries and fatal car accidents involving teens. Among these recommendations are increasing seatbelt use among young drivers and passengers, reducing distractions, teaching key driving skills and educating teens about the dangers of drinking and driving. As adults, it is up to us to lead by example. If you or a loved one has been injured in a New Jersey car accident, please contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer to better understand your legal rights and options.