Teen Driver Safety Facts and Tips

Did you know:

  • Car crashes are the number one cause of teen deaths each year; more than drugs, violence or suicide.
  • According to national statistics car crashes account for more than 1 out of 3 teen deaths.
  • Drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are four more times likely than older drivers to crash.
  • Research shows that male teens are at 1.5 times more risk than their female counterparts.
  • At most risk are teen drivers with teen passengers and the risk increases with the number of teen passengers.
  • Most teen crashes are due to driver error caused by inexperience and distraction.
  • Crash risk is particularly high during the first 12 months that a teen is eligible to drive.
  • Compared to other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seatbelt use.
  • In 2005, 23% of drivers ages 15 – 20 who died in motor vehicle crashes had a blood alcohol content of 0.08 g/dl or higher.
  • In 2005, 54% of the teen deaths from motor vehicle crashes occurred on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
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    Teen Driver Safety Tips:

  • Know your teens passengers and encourage them to help your teen driver by reducing distractions and wearing seatbelts.
  • Know the rules; review your states new driver booklet with your teen driver. Look online for your local DMV materials.
  • Be a good role model for your teen driver and talk about driving safety strategies with your teen.
  • If you can afford it, definitely pay for extra driver training.
  • Emphasize the risks and inherent dangers of drinking or drugs and driving. Offer to always come and rescue with no consequences.
  • Select a safe car for your teen.
  • Ride periodically with your teen driver to keep tabs on progress and reinforce solid driving habits.
  • Driving is a privilege not a right; have your teen share in the costs of operating the vehicle to teach responsibility, which might translate into better driving skills.
  • References:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [Online].

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Dept. of Transportation (US). Traffic safety facts 2005: young drivers.

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