Car Accident Prevention
facts about car accident prevention

Teen Car Accident Prevention

Motor vehicle crashes remain the number one cause of death for adolescents. Teen drivers (ages 16 to 19) are involved in fatal crashes at four times the rate of adult drivers (ages 25 to 69). Yet many teen driver-related injuries and deaths are preventable. There are three common critical errors newly licensed teen drivers make that lead to serious crashes: lack of scanning to detect and respond to hazards, driving too fast for road conditions, and being distracted by something inside or outside of the vehicle. Car accident prevention begins with helping teens gain the experience and skills necessary to stay safe on the road.

How to Prevent Car Accidents

Car accidents can be prevented with plenty of high quality driving practice to help teens develop these skills and to gain experience in a wide range of environments, including nighttime driving. The quality, quantity, and diversity of driving practice can make the learning experience more effective. Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have developed and tested the TeenDrivingPlan Practice Guide to help parents and their novice drivers make the most of the learner’s permit period of licensure.

Parents can promote safe driving behaviors by modeling them for their teens and agreeing on house rules to enforce safe driving rules:

  • Use seat belts on every trip, as a driver and as a passenger
  • Follow all driving laws, including no speeding and no in-car cell phone use
  • Don’t speed
  • No driving while impaired (drugged, drunk, or drowsy)


The majority of newly licensed teen drivers exit the learner’s permit period with significant skill deficits, leading to a much higher risk of crashing than more experienced drivers.

Facts About Car Accident Prevention

  • Making left turns, rear-end events, and running off the road are the most common reasons why newly licensed teen drivers crash.

  • Because their scanning skills are underdeveloped, new drivers often detect a hazard later than experienced drivers, increasing crash risk.

  • Crashes are preventable. Teens who say their parents set rules and pay attention to their activities in a helpful, supportive way are half as likely to crash.

  • Inexperience is a major factor in why teens crash.

Pick Your Practice

With a couple of clicks, think about what skills you would like to practice first as a learner driver, and we’ll point you to videos and tips on how to practice them. Take this online driving quiz to Pick Your Practice!

Take Quiz