According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 14-year-old girl died from injuries she suffered in a three-vehicle crash last week. The Northwest Florida Daily News reports that the young girl of Youngstown was a passenger in a northbound 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer driven by a 16 year old male from Milton, when he lost control of the vehicle just after 10 p.m. on U.S. 231 just south of Johnny Lane. Mann began driving into the median and then began to overturn into the southbound lanes. Two other vehicles struck the trailblazer as it entered the southbound lanes. Mann and his two passengers were all ejected from the vehicle, but the 14 year old female died from her injuries. FHP says no one in the trailblazer was wearing a seatbelt.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased teenage girl and those who were injured in this horrific accident. It appears that this tragic accident could have been avoided.
Did you know that teens buckle up far less frequently than adults do. Despite efforts aimed at increasing belt use among teens, observed seat belt use among teens and young adults (16 to 24 years old) stood at 80 percent in 2008 – the lowest of any age group. In fact, in 2009 the majority (56%) of young people 16 to 20 years old involved in fatal crashes were unbuckled.
Here are some General Statistics on teenagers and seatbelts:
· 55 percent of young adults (ages 13-20) that died in crashes were not wearing a seat belt in 2012, a 3 percent decrease from 2011.
· Teens have the lowest seat belt use of any age group.
· Seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half.
· Teens who live in states with primary enforcement seat belt laws are 12 percent more likely to buckle up as drivers and 15 percent more likely to buckle up as passengers compared to teens who reside in states with weaker secondary enforcement seat belt laws.
· As teens move the stages of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL), they are more likely to stay buckled up in primary enforcement states than in secondary enforcement states.
· Teens more frequently associate seat belt use with a “safe driver” rather than a “good driver.”
· Some common teen responses for not wearing seat belts: the belts are uncomfortable; the trip was short; forgetfulness; lack of understanding about their importance in a crash; and not being “cool.”
· Male teens continue to lag behind female teens in seat belt use. In 2009, 11.5 percent say they rarely or never wear a seat belt as a passenger, compared to 7.7 percent of high school females.
· Driving programs that combine education, peer-to-peer strategies, publicized enforcement, and parental monitoring may show potential for increasing teen seat belt use