Teen Driving Statistics & Facts

Some parents and even more teens think that teens in general are just entitled to get their license when they turn 16. More and more teens are also expecting to be given a car to drive. There is a sense of entitlement here instead of realizing that really for all of us, the ability and right to drive a car is a privilege and not one to be taken lightly. Driving comes with huge responsibility and should be handled with a lot of maturity.

Teen Driving Statistics

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) has stated that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in teens. These motor vehicle accidents count for more than one third of teen deaths in the United States. In 2013:
  • 2,163 16-19 year old teens were killed in vehicle accidents
  • 243,243 16-19 year olds were┬áinjured in a car accident and required an emergency room visit.
  • 6 teens aged 16-19 years old died every day from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident.
  • Teens ages 16-19 are four times more likely than older drivers to get in a motor vehicle accident.

3 Most at Risk Teen Groups

The CDC has defined the following 3 situations that put teens at the highest risk for a motor vehicle accident:

  1. Male drivers and passengers ages 16-19.
  2. Those driving with passengers. The more passengers, the higher the risk.
  3. Newly licensed teens are more likely to crash in their first year of having their license.

High-risk Teen Driver Issues

  • Teens do not always judge the situation and see the danger.
  • Teens speed more and follow closer behind other vehicles.
  • Teens with teen boy passengers are more likely to have accidents.
  • Teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use – 55% of high school students report always wearing a seat belt.
  • In 2013, 25% of drivers between 15 and 20 that died in vehicle accidents had alcohol in their blood.
  • 35% of fatal accidents involving 15-20 year olds in 2013 were speeding at the time of the accident.

Lower teenage driving risks

  • The CDC states that those teen drivers that took graduated drivers licensing (GDL) courses were 38% less likely to get in accidents. These GDL classes allow teens to get more driving experience than usual and it is in a lower risk setting. This happens before licensing.
  • Teens must choose to never drink and drive.
  • Teens must refuse to ride in a car with a drive that has been drinking.
  • Teens must obey speed limits.
  • Teens must wear a seat belt every time they are traveling in a vehicle.
  • Teens must never text or use a cell phone while driving.
Knowing your state laws regarding the graduated drivers licensing is a first step to take in keeping your teen safe. Another thing to do is to let them know that driving comes with maturity and trust. It is a privilege and can be taken away at any time as a consequence. If you sit down with your teen and go over a parent contract you can explain to the teen what types of behavior will be linked to having their privilege to drive taken away.