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NOYS builds partnerships that save lives, prevent injuries, and promote safe and healthy lifestyles among all youth while encouraging youth empowerment and leadership.





Fast Facts on Youth Safety


Traffic Safety

The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among those ages 16 to 23 than other age groups. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teen drivers ages 16 to 23 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

A total of 2,820 teenagers ages 13-19 died in motor vehicle crashes in 2016. This is 3 percent more than in 2015. About 2 of every 3 teenagers killed in crashes in 2016 were males.


According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics:

  • In 2016, over 60 percent of the teen occupants of passenger vehicles who died in crashes were unrestrained; and
  • In 2016, 15 percent of teens involved in fatal crashes had been drinking, despite the fact that all states have Zero Tolerance Laws for drinking and driving under age 21.



Opioids—prescription and illicit—are the main driver of drug overdose deaths. Opioids were involved in 42,249 deaths in 2016, and opioid overdose deaths were five times higher in 2016 than 1999. In 2016, the five states with the highest rates of death due to drug overdose were West Virginia (52.0 per 100,000), Ohio (39.1 per 100,000), New Hampshire (39.0 per 100,000), Pennsylvania (37.9 per 100,000) and (Kentucky (33.5 per 100,000).


Young adults (age 18-25) are the biggest abusers of prescription opioid pain relievers, ADHS stimulants and anti-anxiety drugs.


Illicit drug use among teenagers remains high, largely due to increasing popularity of marijuana. Marijuana use by adolescents declined from the late 1990s until the mid-to-late 2000s, but has been on the increase since then. Marijuana use passes daily cigarette use among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders.



Suicide remains a reading cause of death for youth age 15-24. An increase was seen from 2015 to 2016, continuing the recent rate increases after long-term trends of decline (American Association of Suicidology, 2016). The proportion of high school students who report they have thought seriously about attempting suicide ticked upward, after having fallen substantially since the early 1990s.


According to the 2016 Indicators of School Crime and Safety Report, in 2015, about 21% of students age 12-18 reported being bullied at school during the year. In 2015, among students age 12-18, there were about 841,1000 nonfatal victimizations (violent crimes, theft and assault) at schools.