More teens are killed in motor vehicle crashes than by any other method.

2,650 teens between the ages 16 and 19 were killed in the United States in 2011. Over 292,000 were treated in in emergency rooms for injuries sustained in motor vehicles crashes. According to the Center for Disease Control, seven (7) teens between 16 and 19 are killed every day from injuries received in motor vehicle collisions.

Teen drivers are an especially high risk for motor vehicle crashes. Teen drivers between 16 and 19 are nearly three times more likely to be killed in a fatal crash than drivers 20 years and older. Teens and young adults between 15 and 24 represent 14% of the population. Yet, males account for 30% ($19 billion) of the total cost of motor vehicle injuries and females account for 28% ($7 billion) of the total cost of motor vehicle injuries.

According to the National Highway Transportation Administration;

  • Males: The motor vehicle death rate for male drivers and passengers ages 16 to 19 is almost two times that of their female counterparts.
  • Teens driving with teen passengers: The presence of male teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers. This risk increases with the number of teen passengers.
  • Newly licensed teens: Crash risk is particularly high during the first months of licensure.

Why are teens more at risk?

Teens are not able to recognize dangerous situations and are more likely to underestimate dangerous situations when compared to older drivers who have more experience.

Teens are more likely to speed than older drivers and are less likely to have a safe following distance (they tailgate more). This behavior increases in the presence of other male passengers.

Among male drivers between 15 and 20 years of age who were involved in fatal crashes in 2012, 37% were speeding at the time of the crash and 25% had been drinking.

Teens have the lowest seat belt use when compared to other ages. In a 2013 survey, only 55% of high school students reported they always use their seat belt.

Of fatal collisions in 2012, 23% of drivers aged 15 to 20 were drinking.

  • In a national survey conducted in 2013, 22% of teens reported that, within the previous month, they had ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol. Among students who drove, 10% reported having driven after drinking alcohol within the same one-month period.
  • In 2012, 71% of drivers aged 15 to 20 were killed in motor vehicle crashes after drinking and driving were not wearing a seat belt.
  • In 2012, 49% of teen deaths from motor vehicle crashes occurred between 3 p.m. and midnight and 53% occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

What can be done to prevent teen from being killed in motor vehicle crashes? There are proven methods to help teens become safer drivers!

Wear the seat belt at all times!

55% of teens aged 13 to 19 that were killed were not wearing their seat belt at the time of the crash. That over half! Studies and experience show that vehicle occupants increase their survival rate by 45 to 55 % when they wear their seat belt.

Do not Drink and Drive!

Blunt as this may be, NOBODY SHOULD DRIVE EVEN AFTER ONE DRINK. One drink will double a person chances on being in a collision.

teen drivers

Graduated Licensing Systems (GDL) programs

Graduated drivers licensing (GDL) programs are associated with reductions of 38% and 40% in fatal and injury crashes, respectively, among 16-year-old drivers. Teenagers lack the driving experience and along with their risk taking behavior, they are at a higher risk for crashes. Teens need to develop driving skills and must be supervised which is the basis for the graduated licensing programs. The graduated driver licensing programs puts restrictions on teen drivers and gradually lifts the restrictions as the teen gains experience. Parents need to know their states GDL laws. They can help their teen gain the needed experience by enforcing the GDL laws. Parents must one other thing. That is to set a good example for their teen. If the parent speeds, does not stop for the stop sign or traffic light or does not wear their seat belt, their teen will do and drive exactly the same way. It is up to the parents to set the example and that MUST BE A GOOD EXAMPLE!

Parents must make sure their teen is well aware of the leading causes of teen crashed, death and injuries.

The eight danger zones:

  • Driver inexperience
  • Driving with teen passengers
  • Night time driving
  • Not using the seat belt
  • Distracted driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Impaired driving


Drivers Choice Traffic School

A note from Drivers Choice Traffic School:

Parents make a written contract with your teen, listing these danger zones and a promise from your teen they will not violate the contract by participating in these dangerous driving behaviors. You ( Mom & Dad) may want to include ways to improve your driving too. Parents it is important to remember to be encouraging and not critical.

For parent teen contracts just google “teen driving contracts” and you can pick the one that suits your needs.

We all want our teens to live!!!!!!!!!!!!!!