Driving 'accidents' major cause of death of American children

’ The largest single cause of child and adolescent deaths is motor vehicle crashes, which account for 20% of such deaths. In 2016, the U.S. rate of death from motor vehicle crashes (5.21 per 100,000 children and adolescents) was more than triple that in other developed countries, a finding consistent with other international comparisons.There has been substantial improvement in this rate over the past 20 years in this country, mainly thanks to safety engineering in car construction and road design. However, between 2013 and 2016, mortality from car crashes increased, most likely owing to the distracting and dangerous use of cellphones by both drivers and pedestrians.’

It was nice to see that you put “accidents” in quotes. These aren’t accidents, collisions is more accurate, and certainly homicides in a huge number of these deaths. Florida is working to tighten distracted driving laws right now.

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When people say things like “we were raised without bicycle helmets, seat belts, and air bags, and we turned out okay, I remind them that not all of us made it, and not all of us who made it got where we are free of traumatic brain injuries.

This shows we still have room for more progress.

The poor quality and low standards of driver training in the US are a major reason. In other developed countries driving conditions are more difficult and yet motor vehicle traffic deaths are much lower. On 4+ lane expressways, the US death rate is twice that in Western Europe for equivalent highways. This was true long before all those safety features were introduced on European cars.

Europeans have to meet a tough National test, impartially administered. In Britain it is common to fail the first time.


That’s the truth. I’ve thought that for the longest time… Driver training here is a joke and the test one takes to get a license is basically just another source of tax revenue.

Having taken training for a private pilot’s license I know what training and testing (by a certified FAA examiner) should be like and could be like for operating a ton or two of potentially lethal metal at speeds of a mile or two per minute. Very many people don’t pass even the written exam on the first try, let alone the flight test portion.

Having to go through a more rigorous process and actually learning new things and studying hard has a way of making an operator more responsible while stressing the serious nature of that endeavor.

Getting a license shouldn’t be a right of merely falling into an age parameter, but rather an indication that one can operate a vehicle safely and responsibly.

Quite simply, not everybody that possesses a license currently, should! Many folks think driving a car is all fun and games and requires about as much thought and attention as doing a load of wash in the washing machine.


The original uses quotes: ‘Although injury deaths have traditionally been viewed as “accidents,” injury-prevention science that evolved during the latter half of the 20th century increasingly shows that such deaths are preventable with evidence-based approaches.’ and goes on to discuss them.




an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.

“he had an accident at the factory”

synonyms: mishap, misadventure, unfortunate incident, mischance, misfortune, disaster, tragedy, catastrophe, calamity;

technical casualty

“an accident at work”

an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause.

Almost nobody plans to crash and kill someone with a car, not even those who drive carelessly. Just because it’s not deliberate, it doesn’t mean you are not liable for damages nor that you can be found negligent.

When a collision results from somebody texting, eating, etcetera, I for one don’t find that to be unexpected and I’d argue the unintentional part.

When people are warned over and over of the danger involved in distracted driving, but do it anyhow, to me a collision is intentional and inevitable.

To me a driving accident would be something like space debris entering Earth’s atmosphere and striking my car.

So, call it what you’d like. I’m sorry, but I’m not changing my mind and that’s hardly the point of this discussion of distracted and unqualified drivers injuring and killing children in preventable collisions.

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The reason I call them collisions, not accidents, is that collisions happen as the result of an accumulation of risk factors, such as tiredness, speeding, medication that slows your reactions, willing distractions, etc. Eliminate any one risk factor that leads to a collision, and you can avoid it.

That close call you just had was a collision you avoided because you got a good eight hours of sleep, or because you stopped for a coffee break from driving 30 minutes beforehand, or because you let that phone call go to voicemail.

You don’t have to eliminate all the risk factors, just one to avoid a collision. Nonetheless, it’s in your interest to mitigate as many risk factors as possible.

Knowing this, accumulating risk factors becomes a choice, and a collision is no accident. Even a collision that is someone else’s fault isn’t an accident if you could have avoided it and didn’t because you allowed risk factors to accumulate.

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Thanks for your comments. A driver’s license is seen more and more as a basic democratic right, much like a college degree. To please everyone you lower the standards in both areas.so just about everyone will pass.

I told a stunned Englishman once that saw filing and basket weaving were actually university credits in some states.

Where I live we have a large immigrant population and many “ethnic driving schools”. So a person who has not even mastered sufficient level of English will pass, say nothing of his supposed driving skills.

This year a horrendous accident occurred when a tractor trailer tea-boned a bus with young hockey players. The weather was good and visibility OK, The driver ran a country road stop sign and destroyed the bus and 17 of its occupants! Most of the rest were injured, some severely so.

Th driver had a license but only 2 weeks of experience (“training”) driving large trucks. The owner, of the same ethnic background had a truck that had not passed any safety inspection. Both were charged, but he owner lost his business license. He reportedly has started up under another name! The driver’s court appearance is in January and his trial will be broadcast nationally.

So, political correctness (not inspecting driving schools) has put a lot of incompetent drivers on the road. I’m sure that’s true for California as well.

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The CDC says the biggest killer of Americans is Heart Disease from obesity and or smoking.

Agree, but opioid overdosing will soon rise to one of the major causes. Where I live they already surpass traffic deaths!

Although that’s true…
We’re talking about children here, not the total population. That changes things. Children generally don’t smoke and most haven’t been around long enough to screw up their bodies with heart disease (that will be a little later in life). Kids die mainly in vehicle accidents.

Topic: Driving ‘accidents’ major cause of death of American children

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I like to report on auto safety, particularly when I can debunk a myth and if the news is positive. One thing that stood out when I analyzed the last NHTSA report on traffic deaths in America was that kids on bikes are almost never killed by cars anymore. I don’t want to hijack the post, which is a good one, but details are here if interested.

Kids riding bikes are way way down from when I was a kid. Talk to any bike shop that’s been around for a few decades and they’ll tell you that bike sales for kids is less the half what it use to be.

Absolutely true. It’s one of the cultural changes that has happened over the past 20 years. Definitely one big reason the number is so low.

AAA says that 17,000 teens die a year while texting or showing off behind the wheel.

Wow! That’s half of all traffic deaths; it’d surprise me if teens were half of traffic deaths. Can you cite the article?

Yeah something wrong with that figure. in 2016 3200 total deaths “involving” teen drivers. I used to work for AAA so enough said. Gotta take everything with a grain of salt and use your own judgement, not rely on press releases by insurance companies.


I read that in AAA’s monthly magazine in 2015. I went to the article you posted and it said 3200 teens but didn’t give a figure for the deaths of the others in the other cars which were hit or the bicyclists and pedestrians hit by the teen drivers. I might have the number wrong about how many were teens and how many weren’t in the total figure in the AAA magazine article.