NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- High school students have shown significant progress over the past two decades in improving many health-risk behaviors associated with the leading cause of death among youth—motor vehicle crashes—according to the 2011 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although motor vehicle crashes account for more than 1 in 3 U.S. teen deaths each year, findings from this survey show dramatic improvements during the past 20 years in motor vehicle safety among youth:
• From 1991 to 2011, the percentage of students who rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol during the past 30 days declined from 40 to 24.
• The percentage of high school students who had driven a car during the past 30 days when they had been drinking alcohol decreased from 17 in 1997 to 8 in 2011.
• Between 2009 and 2011 encouraging improvements were also shown in the percentage of students wearing a seat belt, not riding with a driver who had been drinking alcohol and not driving a car when they had been drinking alcohol.