More teens are dying in crashes

by SOURCE Texas Department of Transportation

Austin—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.

Vehicle crashes continue to be a leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers. The number of teenagers killed in Texas who weren’t wearing their seat belts increased from 144 in 2021 to 162 in 2022, the equivalent of three full school buses.

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

Seat belts offer the best protection in a crash. Unfortunately, seat belt use remains low among Texas teen drivers and passengers. In 2022, 51 percent (162 of 320) of teens killed in vehicle crashes were not wearing seat belts.

Texas law requires drivers and all passengers to wear seat belts. Unbuckled drivers and passengers, even those in the back seat, can face fines and fees of up to $200.

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