27 Awesome Teenage Driving Statistics
When it comes to teen drivers, there are so many cliches: They’re prone to distracted driving, have trouble learning to drive, abuse their driving privileges, and so on. In reality, however, when it comes to teenager drivers and teen driving behavior, there are a lot of positives to keep in mind.
Check out these 27 interesting facts about teen driving:
- In 2016, 1,916 teenage drivers (ages 15 to 20) died in motor vehicle crashes. In 2017, 1,830 teen drivers were killed in automobile accidents. That averages out to roughly six deaths per day.
- The figures above do not include the deaths of passengers, nor does it include deaths to those in other cars, bicyclists, or pedestrians.
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and disability among American teens.
- For instance, in 2018, nearly 2,500 teens died in automobile accidents and 285,000 teens aged 13-19 were treated for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes.
- The economic impact is huge, too. Fatal and nonfatal motor vehicle crash injuries among teens 13–19 years of age in 2018 resulted in $11.8 billion in medical and work loss costs.
- And the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among teen drivers (16-19) than any other age group.
- Teen drivers are far more likely to crash if impaired, whether via distracted driving, under the influence, or with peers.
- More than 75 percent of serious teen driver crashes are the result of a critical driving error.
- In particular, most teen driver accidents are the result of one of three critical errors: Distractions (whether inside or outside the vehicle), speeding (or simply going too fast for road conditions), or lack of scanning (especially the level of scanning necessary to detect and respond to hazards).
- The most common types of accidents involve left turns, rear-enders, or running off the road.
- Among teen drivers involved in fatal accidents in 2018, 30% of male drivers and 18% of female drivers were speeding—both higher percentages than for any other age group.
- And teen distracted driving is common: A 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that among teen drivers, 39 percent texted or emailed at least once while driving in the previous 30 days.
- Parents can help model safe teenage driving behavior by demonstrating safe driving techniques and insisting on seat belt use, as well as by limiting nighttime driving and peer passengers.
- Teens regularly have the lowest seat belt use rates. While 87 percent of young adults (ages 16-24) wore seat belts regularly in the years 2016-2018, the adult rate (ages 25 or older) was greater than 90 percent each of those years, and in 2019, 43 percent of American high school students admitted they did not always wear a seat belt when someone else was driving.
- For teen fatalities in automobile accidents in 2018, nearly half were unrestrained at the time of the crash.
- Nighttime and weekend driving are especially dangerous for teen drivers; 37 percent of teen motor vehicle fatalities in 2018 occurred between 9 pm and 6 am, and 52 percent occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
- According to a survey by Safe Kids Worldwide, 75% of teenagers buckle their seat belts every time they drive an automobile.
- In Hawaii, 4.7 percent of motor vehicle crash fatalities involved teen drivers; Rhode Island led the nation at 18.1 percent. The national average is 12.8 percent.
- When looked at per mile, drivers aged 16-19 are three times more likely than drivers 20 or older to be involved in a fatal automobile accident.
- Teen male drivers are nearly twice as likely to be killed as females.
- Teen drivers with teen passengers are far more likely to be in accidents, especially if they are unsupervised teen drivers. Each additional teen passenger increases that risk.
- Newly licensed teens are especially at risk; teens are far more likely to be involved in an automobile accident during their first months of licensure.
- Sixteen-year-old drivers, for instance, are 1.5 times more likely (on a per-mile-driven basis) to be in a crash than 18- and 19-year-old drivers.
- And teen drivers are more likely to be involved in a crash if they’ve been drinking—even at blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) below the legal BAC limit for adults.
- Nearly 17 percent of American high school students rode with a driver who had been drinking at least once in the past 30 days in one 2019 survey.
- Among American high school drivers in that same survey, 5.4 percent drove after drinking alcohol at least in the past 30 days.
- In 2018, fifteen percent of drivers aged 16-20 involved in fatal automobile accidents had a BAC of 0.08% or higher.
Of particular importance for parents to remember is that all of this data can help encourage them to monitor their teen drivers’ driving behavior; they can use it to help their teenage drivers become better drivers!
Related Content: 7 Easy Steps How To Teach A Scared Teenager To Drive
What Is The Best Way For Teenagers To Become Better Drivers?
So clearly it’s important that teenage drivers are educated when learning to drive, that road safety is stressed for novice drivers, and driving practice is encouraged by adults who can model safe driving behavior. How else can parents help encourage safe teen driving?
Education is a key component. Ensuring that their children understand the leading causes of motor vehicle crash rates and what their crash risk might be can help prevent car accident teen death. The leading cause of teen crashes include:
- Teen driver inexperience
- Driving with teen passengers
- Nighttime driving
- Not using seat belts/improper seatbelt safety
- Distracted driving (whether texting, calling, talking to peers, etc)
- Drowsy driving
- Reckless driving
- Impaired driving
According to the Center for Disease Control, roughly half of all teen deaths in automobile accidents were not wearing a seat belt.
Two other pieces that have greatly decreased teen death include zero-tolerance laws for underage drinkers and graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems. In particular, the parent-teen driving component of GDL systems, as well as the restrictions on nighttime driving and teen passengers, can greatly reduce risk factors for novice drivers as they learn driving skills.
Graduated driver licensing systems are associated with 26-41% decreases in fatal crashes and 16-22% decreases in teen crashes.
Why Is Teenage Driving Dangerous?
Although the above-mentioned 27 awesome facts about teenage driving are encouraging, the reality is teen drivers are more likely to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle incident than any other type of driver. Believing parents play a significant role in a teen’s driving habits, some groups believe the best way for the roads to become safer for everyone is to make parents of newly licensed drivers more accountable for their teen’s driving. By requiring a teen and/or parent to be financially responsible for any traffic infractions or violations received by the teen driver, some groups believe vehicle-related fatalities in the 17-25 age group will be reduced significantly. The hope is that with more parental influence crashes involving teens and risky driving, in general, can be reduced. One way some parents are holding their teens more accountable for their driving habits is by using GPS tracking devices for monitoring.
Best Teen GPS Tracker 2021
- Know Where Your Teen Driver Is 24/7
- Get Alerts When Your Teenager Is Speeding
- Endorsed By The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Shape Positive Driving Experiences
Teenage drivers tend to drive fast and pay attention less, creating an increased risk of a fatal motor vehicle crash. This is where GPS tracking technology is helping highway safety among teens. GPS car trackers are simple devices that record driving activity, regardless if it’s good or bad. Speeds traveled, routes driven, and stops made are only a few of the important details a GPS system will document. The reason why vehicle tracking devices are so effective in teen driving safety applications is that they provide parents the tools necessary to understand their son or daughter’s driving performance or skills. GPS tracking systems supply parents with an easy way to spot bad driving habits and correct them before they become potentially fatal!
As effective as teen GPS tracking systems are at illuminating poor driving habits they can only be effective if parents review the GPS tracking information and teach their kids the problems and consequences of unsafe driving. Text messaging while driving is a problem, but so is speeding, playing with a radio, or talking on the phone. Parents need to first find out if their teen drivers are engaging in any dangerous driving behaviors then shape them in a more positive way!
Matthew is a freelance writer who is passionate about technology, music, photography, and decentralized finance.