Motor Vehicle Crashes are the Number One Killer of American Teenagers
Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of American teenagers. In 2013 alone, 4,333 people were killed in crashes involving young drivers aged 15 to 20. 1,691 were young drivers, 1,051 were passengers of young drivers. The remaining 1,591 victims were involved in crashes with young drivers.
Youngest Drivers at Greatest Risk
A study conducted by IIHS found that fatal crash rates per mile driven are twice as high for 16-year-olds as they are for 18 to 19-year-olds.
An analysis of fatal crash rates for drivers aged 15 to 17 in states with different minimum learner's permit and intermediate license ages found that as the age of obtaining a learner's permit decreases, fatal crash rates increase. The earlier young people are allowed to learn to drive, and the younger the age at which they become licensed, are both factors associated with higher fatal crash rates.
Additional Passengers Add Risk
Fatal crash rates are 21% lower for 15 to 17-year-old drivers when they are prohibited from having any teenage passengers in their vehicles, compared to when two or more passengers are allowed.
Distracted Driving a Growing Problem
Text messaging has become a more prominent issue when it comes to distracted teen drivers. In a 2011 study by Liberty Mutual Insurance Group and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), 53% of teens admitted to text messaging while driving, even though 59% rated text messaging as "the most distracting behavior while driving."
Drinking and Driving Among Young Drivers
NHTSA data shows 28% of young drivers aged 15 to 20 who were killed in crashes in 2012 had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher.
Time of Day is a Factor
The greatest incidence (20%) of teenage motor vehicle crash deaths occurs from 9 p.m. to midnight.
Seatbelts Save Lives
In 2010, more than half (54%) of the young drivers killed were unrestrained, where restraint use was known.
Graduated Drivers Licenses (GDL) Save Lives
GDL programs, which introduce teens to the driving experience gradually by phasing in full driving privileges over time and in lower risk settings, have been effective in reducing teen crash deaths.
In states that have adopted GDL systems, studies have found overall crash reductions among teen drivers of about 10 to 30%.
Programs that included a mandatory waiting period, a nighttime restriction, and either supervised driving for at least 30 hours or a passenger restriction were associated with reductions of 16 to 21% in fatal-crash involvement rates of 16-year-old drivers, according to NHTSA.
States with nighttime driving restrictions show crash reductions of up to 60% during restricted hours.
A 2010 survey conducted by IIHS shows that parents favor GDL laws that are as strict or even stricter than currently exist in any state. More than half of respondents think the minimum licensing age should be 17 or older.
Almost three-quarters (74%) of teens approve of a single, comprehensive law that incorporates the key elements of GDL, according to a 2010 survey by the Allstate Foundation.
Economic Impact of Teen Crashes
According to NHTSA, the annual estimated economic cost of police-reported crashes involving young drivers is $40.8 billion.
Fatalities are Just a Fraction of Teen Driving Injuries
While the total number of automotive deaths of teens is a sobering statistic, when compared to the total number of injuries requiring emergency-room attention, the true cost of teenage driving accidents is made apparent.
There's More You Can Do for Your Teen Driver
Many families are building upon the success of the GDL programs, and are tailoring their own Parent-Teen Driving Contract (PTDC) that meets their families specific needs and expectations. No state has the optimal GDL program.
Our Parent-Teen Driving Contract can be tailored to meet you families particular needs, and guide you in a discussion with your soon-to-be teen driver about driving safety, responsibility, your expectations, and the consequences of disobeying your rules.
Enroll your novice teen driver in the SaferTeenDriver program today. With this program, and your coaching, your teen will take our risk assessment and .Read More