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Causes of Death in Teenagers

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Causes of Death in Teenagers

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. Going through the teenage years can be a challenge as the body undergoes significant mental, physical, and emotional changes. Raising a teenager can be just as much of a struggle as being a teenager oneself. These challenging years also bring an increasing amount of risk-taking behavior into play, which was recently addressed in a large research study. The results are of importance to anyone who has a teenage child or who is a teenager themselves.

Risk-Taking Behavior During the Teenage Years

Everyone is a teenager at some point. Teens often think that they are invincible and have all of the answers.  This type of thinking lends itself to taking risks that are sometimes unnecessary. It is important for teens to learn from their mistakes; however, some mistakes could cost teens their life. Some of the unnecessary risks that teenagers might take include:

Alcohol and Drugs: Some of the most common risk-taking behavior involves teenagers who are trying alcohol and drugs for the first time. According to a study from the University of Michigan in 2013, over a third of teenagers will try marijuana by the 12th grade. Almost 10 percent of teens will try other prescription medications, such as Adderall or Vicodin, without a prescription.

Car Crashes: Most teenagers consider getting their driver’s license to be a virtual rite of passage. Of course, there is always the chance that they could wind up in a car accident as a result of their reckless behavior. According to a study from the Scientific American Mind, young drivers ages 16 to 20 are more than twice as likely to suffer an auto accident when compared to their older, adult counterparts.

Violent Crimes: Teenagers are more likely to commit a violent crime than any other age group. This study was published by The Walrus and includes crimes with weapons, such as knives and guns.

Infections: A 2007 study published by the Scientific American Mind stated that over 3 million adolescents contract a sexually transmitted disease annually. It is important for parents and schools to discuss safety with adolescents to try and prevent this from happening.

In addition to these numbers, an extensive study was recently published by a University to explore not only risk-taking behavior but also the rates of fatalities among teenagers.

Results of the Study: Motor Vehicle Accidents

The study was conducted by the University of South Carolina and looked at a 15-year period in history. They limited the study to the deaths of children aged 10 to 19 years and found that among the category of accidental deaths (meaning non-suicide), the most common causes of death were preventable. This saddening point about wrongful deaths is devastating and the most common cause of accidental deaths during the teenage years comes from auto accidents. There are several reasons why this might be, including:

  • Drunk DrivingDrunk driving is a serious problem in this country and an even bigger problem in teenagers. Alcohol impairs the mind and significantly increases the chance that someone might be involved in a serious crash. The legal drinking age is 21 and the legal blood alcohol concentration is 0.08.
  • Distracted Driving: One of the biggest culprits is texting while driving. Based on a poll from the AAA, over a third of teens text and drive at the same time Taking the eyes and the hands off of the wheel increases the opportunity for a serious injury.
  • Inexperience: Inexperience is a serious problem for teenage drivers. With limited hours behind the wheel, this increases the opportunity of making a fatal mistake, leading to traumatic injuries.

Water Safety: Unnecessary Adventures

Based on the study, the next most common cause of death was from drowning in an accident involving an open body of water. The ocean is an unforgiving place. The current, tide, and weather conditions can change in a matter of minutes. Kids can get caught up in rip currents, quickly getting pulled out to sea. If a storm develops, this can obscure visibility and make it a challenge to find the shoreline. As they struggle against the ocean, they inevitably get fatigued and struggle to stay afloat in the water. Eventually, fatigue sets in as they slip beneath the surface of the water, leading to a drowning event. Deaths in the ocean or lake can also occur if teenagers jump off of a boat and strike the side, leading to a broken bone. They can also get run over by a boat if they aren’t paying a attention. Even a near-drowning event can lead to brain damage.

Assistance with Wrongful Deaths in Teenagers

If a family is struggling with what happened to one of their children, it is important to recognize that the grief they are experiencing is normal. It is healthy to mourn the loss of a loved one and, after all, no parent expects to bury their child. Once this process is done, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced legal professional to ensure that a full investigation of the circumstances of the accident is performed. It is vital to collect all of the details before making a decision. A legal adviser can help a family make a choice that is in their best interests.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. Parents whose children have been hurt in a traumatic event can receive free, friendly advice from me. My phone number is (916) 921-6400 and our toll-free line is (800) 404-5400.

I’m a part of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

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Image Source: The image at the top was found first on Unsplash and has been shown here with permission

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