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Basic Facts About Teen Crashes

General Statistics

  • Motor vehicle-related deaths decreased 51 percent for 15- to 19-year-olds from 1999 to 2012. 1 & 2
  • Motor vehicle-related deaths decreased an average of 26 percent for all age groups from 1999 to 2012. 1 & 2
  • Nationally, 963,000 teen drivers were involved in police-reported motor vehicle crashes in 2013, which resulted in 383,000 injuries and 2,865 deaths. 3
  • Motor vehicle crashes remain the No. 1 cause of death for adolescents.3
  • The greatest lifetime chance of crashing occurs in the first 6 months after licensure.3
  • The overwhelming majority (75 percent) of serious teen driver crashes are due to "critical errors," with the three common errors accounting for nearly half of these crashes: 4
    • lack of scanning that is needed to detect and respond to hazards
    • going too fast for road conditions (e.g., driving too fast to respond to others or to successfully navigate a curve)
    • being distracted by something inside or outside of the vehicle
  • Environmental conditions such as poor weather, vehicle malfunction, or aggressive driving, or physical impairments such as drowsy driving are not primary factors in most crashes.5
  • The fatal crash rate for drivers ages 16 to 19, based on miles driven, is four times higher than for drivers ages 25 to 69.6
  • Distraction was a key factor in 58 percent of crashes involving drivers ages 16 to 19, according to an analysis of video footage of 1,691 moderate-to-severe crashes 6 seconds before they occurred.7
  • Distracted driving is a factor in 14 percent of police-reported crashes involving teen drivers.8

 

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Source:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [Online]. (2012). National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Dept. of Transportation (US). Traffic Safety Facts 2012: Young Drivers. Washington (DC): NHTSA.  
  3. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Dept. of Transportation (US). Traffic Safety Facts 2013: Young Drivers. Washington (DC): NHTSA.Available at http://www.nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pub/812101.pdf.
     
  4. Curry AE, Hafetz J, Kallan MJ, Winston FK, Durbin DR. Prevalence of Teen Driver Errors Leading to Serious Motor Vehicle Crashes. Accident Analysis and Prevention. April 2011.
  5. Mayhew DR, Simpson HM, Pak A. Changes in Collision Rates Among Novice Drivers During the First Months of Driving. Accident Analysis and Prevention. September 2003.
  6. Curry AE, et al. Miles to Go: Establishing Benchmarks for Teen Driver Safety. Published by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute and State Farm Insurance Companies®. 2011.
  7. Carney C, McGehee D, Harland H, Weiss M, and Raby M. Using Naturalistic Driving Data to Assess teh Prevalence of Environment Factors and Driver Behaviors in Teen Driver Crashes. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. March 2015.
  8. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Dept. of Transportation (US). Traffic Safety Facts: Distracted Driving 2012, DOT HS 812 012. April 2014.



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