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Here’s some sobering news.

The leading cause of death for young people in America is set to become gun violence, knocking car accidents into second place.

In fact, a new Center for American Progress report released Friday, shows that car death accidents have steadily declined over the past decade. Gun deaths, however, have remained unchanged. According to Think Progress:

In 2010, 6,201 young people between the ages of 15 and 24 died by gunfire. Guns were a close second to the leading cause of death among this age group, car accidents, which took the lives of 7,024 young people that year.

Sadly, the report shows that if current trends continue, gun deaths will surpass car accident deaths among young people sometime in 2015.

But how have car accident deaths steadily declined for decades, while gun deaths are relatively unchanged?

For car accident deaths, these numbers represent a significant victory. Deaths of young people as a result of car accidents have dropped dramatically in the last two decades, from a high of more than 12,000 deaths among this age group in 1990. This decline is not an accident: billions of dollars have been spent on public health and safety research to understand motor vehicle accidents and how to prevent them from becoming fatal. This research has resulted in design innovation, changes to cars and roadways, and new laws that have led to a significant and steady decline in such fatalities among all age groups, including young people.

For guns, however, the same initiative hasn’t yet taken place. And even though the United States has experienced a dramatic decline in violent crime over the last two decades, the rate of gun violence, particularly among young people, has barely moved.

To read the rest of the report, click here.

SOURCE: Think Progress, American Progress

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