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Teenage Drivers: Get the Facts, Motor Vehicle Safety, CDC Injury Center

Teenage Drivers: Get the Facts

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers. One Fortunately, teenage motor vehicle crashes are preventable, and proven strategies can improve the safety of youthful drivers on the road.

How big is the problem?

In 2015, Two,333 teenagers in the United States ages 16–Nineteen were killed and 221,313 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes in 2014. One That means that six teenagers ages 16–Nineteen died every day from motor vehicle injuries.

In 2013, youthfull people ages 15-19 represented only 7% of the U.S. population. However, they accounted for 11% ($Ten billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries. 1

Who is most at risk?

The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16-19-year-olds than among any other age group. In fact, per mile driven, teenage drivers ages sixteen to nineteen are almost three times more likely than drivers aged twenty and older to be in a fatal crash. Two

Among teenage drivers, those at especially high risk for motor vehicle crashes are:

  • Masculines: In 2014, the motor vehicle death rate for masculine drivers and passengers ages sixteen to nineteen was two times that of their female counterparts. 1
  • Teenagers driving with teenage passengers: The presence of teenage passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teenage drivers. This risk increases with the number of teenage passengers. Trio,Four
  • Freshly licensed teenagers: Crash risk is particularly high during the very first months of licensure. Five,6 The crash rate per mile driven is three times higher for 16-17 year olds as compared to 18-19 year olds. Two

What factors put teenage drivers at risk?

  • Teenagers are more likely than older drivers to underestimate dangerous situations or not be able to recognize hazardous situations. Seven Teenagers are also more likely than adults to make critical decision errors that lead to serious crashes. 8
  • Teenagers are more likely than older drivers to speed and permit shorter headways (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the front of the next). The presence of masculine teenage passengers increases the likelihood of this risky driving behavior. 9
  • In 2014, 50% of teenage deaths from motor vehicle crashes occurred inbetween three p.m. and midnight and 53% occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Two
  • Compared with other age groups, teenagers have among the lowest rates of seat belt use. In 2015, only 61% of high school students reported they always wear seat belts when railing with someone else. Ten
  • At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of involvement in a motor vehicle crash is greater for teenagers than for older drivers. 11
  • Among masculine drivers inbetween fifteen and twenty years of age who were involved in fatal crashes in 2014, 36% were speeding at the time of the crash ten and 24% had been drinking. 12
  • In 2014, 17% of drivers aged sixteen to twenty involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes had a BAC of .08% or higher. 13
  • In a national survey conducted in 2015, 20% of teenagers reported that, within the previous month, they had ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol. Among students who drove, 8% reported having driven after drinking alcohol within the same one-month period. Ten
  • In 2014, 64% of drivers aged fifteen to twenty who were killed in motor vehicle crashes after drinking and driving were not wearing a seat belt. 12

How can deaths and injuries resulting from crashes involving teenage drivers be prevented?

There are proven methods to helping teenagers become safer drivers.

Seat Belts

Of the teenagers (aged 16-19) who died in passenger vehicle crashes in two thousand fourteen approximately 53% were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Two Research shows that seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half. 14

Not Drinking & Driving

Enforcing minimum legal drinking age laws and zero blood-alcohol tolerance laws for drivers under age twenty one are recommended.

Graduated Driver Licensing Programs (GDL)

Driving is a elaborate skill, one that must be practiced to be learned well. Teenagers` lack of driving practice, together with risk-taking behavior, puts them at heightened risk for crashes. The need for skill-building and driving supervision for fresh drivers is the basis for graduated driver licensing programs, which exist in all US states and Washington, DC. GDL provides longer practice periods, boundaries driving under high risk conditions for freshly licensed drivers, and requires greater participation of parents in their teenagers` learning-to-drive. Research suggests that the more comprehensive GDL programs are associated with reductions of 26% (15) to 41% (16) in fatal crashes and reductions of 16% (17) to 22% (Legitimate) in overall crashes, among 16-year-old drivers. When parents know their state`s GDL laws, they can help enforce the laws and, in effect, help keep their teenage drivers safe.

Eight Danger Zones

Make sure your youthful driver is aware of the leading causes of teenage crashes:

  • Driver inexperience
  • Driving with teenage passengers
  • Nighttime driving
  • Not using seat belts
  • Dispelled driving
  • Sleepy driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Impaired driving

Learn what research has shown parents can do to keep teenage drivers safe from each of these risks.

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