The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 1.2 million adolescents across the globe died during 2015, primarily from causes they were preventable or treatable. That is 3,000 deaths each day worldwide.
The total population of adolescents aged 10 to 19 in the world is roughly 1.2 billion, or 1 out of every 6 people.
Traffic accidents: 3,000 deaths per day worldwide
For the teen age group, traffic accidents rank high on the causes of fatalities. Globally, more than 115,000 adolescents died from road traffic accidents alone during 2015. Road traffic injuries were the leading cause of death in 2015.
In the U.S., 2,333 teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 were killed in vehicle accidents during the same year. That equates to 6 teenagers in that age cohort dying every single day.
In 2014, 221,313 teenagers had to be taken to emergency departments for vehicle crash injuries.
How to prevent teen traffic accidents
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends programs that provide information on safe driving. It also recommends that levels of blood alcohol be made lower for drivers in the teen years. They suggest that new drivers receive graduated licenses.
In addition, of course, existing laws on drinking and driving need to be strictly enforced, as does the legal drinking age. The CDC recommends a zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving.
Finally, teenagers need to wear a seat belt. Of the people between 16 and 19 years or age who died in passenger vehicle accidents during 2014, roughly 53% were not wearing their seat belt. However, seat belts have been shown to reduce both deaths and serious injuries by approximately 50%.
Drowning: 57,000 deaths yearly worldwide
Drowning is another primary cause of teenager deaths. The WHO estimates that 57,000 adolescents drown each year. Two-thirds of them are male.
In the U.S., the National Safety Council (NSC) reports that nearly 3,400 people drowned in 2013.
How to prevent drowning deaths
To reduce drowning deaths, preventive measures and attention to safety need to be practiced. Drowning deaths are preventable.
The first preventive measure is swimming lessons.
The second is close watching of a pool by a responsible adult who is experienced swimmer. Adolescents should never swim unattended.
Why? Well, even people who can swim can drown. The NSC quotes the American Red Cross as indicating that even of people who can swim, over half cannot float or tread water for a minute without a device used for flotation, cannot jump into water and come up to the surface, cannot swim 25 yards without halting, and cannot get out of a pool without a ladder. The failure of swimmers to utilize any of these safety measures could result in drowning.
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Young people are our most precious resource. It is especially tragic when a teenager dies in a preventable accident.
Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are seasoned attorneys who will fight for justice if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident.
Our initial consultation is free; we will discuss your case and what the next steps could be. Call today for a free consultation with an experienced New York City and Long Island personal injury lawyer today.
Additional “preventable teenager deaths” resources:
- National Safety Council. Stay Safe In and Out of the Water. http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/safety-at-home-drowning.aspx
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Teen Drivers: Get the Facts. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html
- World Health Organization. Adolescents: Health Risks and Solutions. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs345/en/