‘Leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers’: TxDOT urges youth to wear seatbelts

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) made a statement on Friday, concerned by the rising rate of fatalities in teens not wearing their seatbelts.

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TxDOT’s Teen Click it or Ticket campaign is urging teens to buckle up in every seat for every ride, following a rise in unbuckled teen deaths.

TxDOT said that vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers and in 2022 the number of teens in Texas who died in crashes that weren’t wearing their seatbelt increased to 162, from 144 in 2021.

They said that in the Tyler District there were 30 vehicle crashes in which teens not wearing their seatbelts sustained either serious or fatal injuries.

“We want to remind our teens to always buckle up, no matter how far the drive,” TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams said. “It only takes a few seconds to put on your seat belt, and that simple click can save a life.”

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TxDOT reports that seatbelt use is low among Texas teen drivers, including that in 2022 51% of teens killed in vehicle crashes were not wearing seat belts.

A parent’s worst nightmare happens all too often in Texas as the number of unbuckled teen drivers and passengers killed in crashes is rising.


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