If you are a parent, and if you are to suffer that greatest of family tragedies--the death of your child--the most likely cause will be a motor vehicle accident.

  • Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers.

  • No age group is more likely to die or be injured in car accidents than teenagers and young adults.

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of disabling injuries such as traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.

As bad as this all is, things had actually been improving: Car crashes among teens have been declining for some years, and particularly since 2008. Some experts believe this was related to the downturn in the US economy. But, bad news, this trend appears to be reversing. Teen driving deaths appear to be increasing for the second consecutive year following 8 years of decline. A study from the Governors Highway Safety Association shows that deaths among teenagers in auto accidents were up 19% among 16- and 17-year-old drivers during the first six months of 2012 compared with the first six months of 2011. Read more about the trends here.