Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death and disability among adolescents. In 2019, over 115 000 adolescents died as a result of road traffic accidents. Many of those who died were “vulnerable road users”, including pedestrians, cyclists or users of motorized two-wheelers. In many countries, road safety laws need to be made more comprehensive, and enforcement of such laws needs to be strengthened. Furthermore, young drivers need advice on driving safely, while laws that prohibit driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs need to be strictly enforced among all age groups. Blood alcohol levels should be set lower for young drivers than for adults. Graduated licences for novice drivers with zero-tolerance for drink-driving are recommended.
Drowning is also among the top causes of death among adolescents – more than 30 000 adolescents, over three quarters of them boys, are estimated to have drowned in 2019. Teaching children and adolescents to swim is an essential intervention to prevent these deaths.