Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 2000. HC 1.3 Youth Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths

01/01/2000

Youth ages 15 to 24 had the highest fatality and injury rates of any age group in 1998 due to motor vehicle crashes.12 Such crashes are among the major causes of injury-related deaths13 for 15- to 19-year-olds, accounting for 36 percent of injury deaths in 1996;14 however, as a fraction of all violent deaths to teens, motor vehicle crashes have declined. Data for 1998 show that motor vehicle crashes claimed 26.4 lives per 100,000 youth ages 15 through 19, compared with 43.6 per 100,000 youth in 1970 (see Figure HC 1.3). The rate of motor vehicle crash deaths among youth has been relatively constant since 1992.

Differences by Gender and Race. For persons under age 20, the decrease in the rate of youth motor vehicle deaths between 1970 and 1998 has been greatest among white males ages 15 through 19, falling from 67.1 to 36.2 deaths per 100,000 and among black males who declined from 43.4 to 26.0 deaths per 100,000 (see Table HC 1.3). Similar decreases in the rates of motor vehicle crash deaths have not been seen among females ages 15 through 19. Among white females, ages 15 through 19, the rate of deaths due to motor vehicle crashes has fluctuated between 20 and 26 per 100,000; by 1998 it was 20.9 deaths per 100,000, compared with 24.4 deaths per 100,000 in 1970. Black females have had lower motor vehicle crash death rates than whites. After a drop from 11.1 deaths per 100,000 in 1970 to 6.7 deaths per 100,000 in 1980, rates have generally increased for this group, to 8.5 deaths per 100,000 in 1998.

Differences by Age. Among youth ages 10 through 14, motor vehicle death rates are quite low in comparison to older youth and dropped from 9.6 to 5.4 per 100,000 between 1970 and 1998. This decline was evident for both white and black males and females, with most of the decline occurring before 1990.

Figure HC 1.3 Youth motor vehicle crash deaths (rate per 100,000) in the United States, by age: Selected years, 1970-1998

Figure HC 1.3 Youth motor vehicle crash deaths (rate per 100,000) in the United States, by age: Selected years, 1970-1998

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Table 291, p473-478, Mortality Statistics Branch, Division of Vital Statistics.


Table HC 1.3 Youth motor vehicle crash deaths (rate per 100,000) in the United States, by age, gender, and race: Selected years, 1970- 1998

  1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998
All youth
Ages 10-14 9.6 8.4 8.1 7.4 6.4 6.1 5.5 5.9 6.0 6.1 5.8 5.9 5.4
Ages 15-19 43.6 38.4 43.0 33.5 33.1 31.2 28.2 28.6 29.3 28.6 28.6 27.3 26.4
White males
Ages 10-14 12.6 10.9 10.9 9.8 7.7 7.8 7.0 7.1 7.5 7.2 7.2 6.8 6.4
Ages 15-19 67.1 61.7 69.1 51.3 49.3 44.5 39.6 41.6 41.7 38.9 39.5 36.6 36.2
White females
Ages 10-14 6.6 5.8 5.7 5.6 5.3 4.4 4.1 4.4 4.8 5.0 4.8 4.9 4.3
Ages 15-19 24.4 20.6 25.6 22.6 22.2 23.0 21.0 20.2 21.3 22.1 21.2 21.4 20.9
Black males
Ages 10-14 11.9 9.6 7.9 8.9 7.9 8.8 7.8 8.3 7.6 7.7 6.8 7.4 7.8
Ages 15-19 43.4 24.6 24.4 22.1 28.7 29.5 26.2 26.7 29.0 29.0 28.2 28.7 26.0
Black females
Ages 10-14 6.4 4.2 4.0 3.0 3.8 3.3 3.6 4.8 4.8 4.2 3.0 4.8 3.1
Ages 15-19 11.1 7.1 6.7 7.5 9.7 9.0 9.1 8.2 10.4 10.7 12.4 10.4 8.5

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Table 291, p473-478, Mortality Statistics Branch, Division of Vital Statistics.


12 Murphy, S.L. 2000. National Vital Statistics Reports, 48, (11).

13 Injury-related deaths include deaths from motor vehicle crashes, fires and burns, drowning, suffocation, and unintentional injuries caused by firearms and other explosive materials, as well as homicides, suicides, and other external causes of death.

14 Percentages calculated by Child Trends based on data on the number of deaths from all causes and from injuries. Peters, K.D., Kochanek, K.D., & Murphy, S.L. 1998. National Vital Statistics Report, 47, (9), Table 2. National Center for Injury Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control. 1996 United States Deaths and Rates per 100,000: All Injury. Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/osp/states/0001.htm, 10/15/98.

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