Most U.S. high school students engage in behavior that puts them at an increased risk of dying, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a new study, “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance – United States, 2009,” CDC researchers analyze trends in youth and young adult risk behaviors from 1991 to 2009.
For youths ages 10 to 24, the four most common causes of death have been motor vehicle crashes, unintentional injuries, homicide and suicide. The contrast with the list of causes of mortality for older Americans is stark: for Americans over 25, the leading causes of death are cardiovascular disease and cancer
The researchers found that 9.7% of the students surveyed reported regularly failing to wear seat belts when riding in a car driven by someone else, and 28% said they ride in cars with drivers who have been drinking alcohol.
In the 30 days before the survey, 17.5% of the students had carried a weapon to school.
During the 12 months before the survey, 31.5% had been in a physical fight.