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Basic Facts About Teen Crashes
teen crash statistics

Teen Driver Statistics

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and disability to teens in the U.S  According to teen driver safety statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,1,830 young drivers ages 15 to 20 years old died in motor vehicle crashes in 2017. Although dire, this represents a 4 percent decrease from the 1,916 young drivers who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2016.

These teen driver statistics do not include deaths of passengers, as well as deaths of those in other cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Yet, most teen crashes can be prevented with plenty of quality parent supervised driving practice to help teenagers gain experience in a variety of driving environments and to develop the critical driving skills they need. Most teen driver crashes are due to three “critical errors:” lack of scanning, speeding, and distractions.  

Teen driver statistics also show that teens are also more likely to crash if impaired, using a cell phone, or with peer passengers. Parents can help teens manage these crash risks by setting and enforcing house rules to keep them safe. These rules should include seat belt use on every ride, every time, and limiting nighttime driving and peer passengers until the first full year of independent driving.

Sharing teen driver statistics and proven ways to prevent crashes will help keep your family safe. Insist on safe driving behaviors and promote their use with house driving rules and plenty of communication. 

Statistics

Motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. In 2017, six teens died every day from injuries suffered during MVCs.

More Teen Driver Statistics

  • The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16-to 19-year-olds than among any other age group.

  • 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: lack of scanning that is needed to detect and respond to hazards, going too fast for road conditions, and being distracted by something inside or outside of the vehicle.

  • In 2017, the percentage of crash fatalities involving drivers ages 15 to 20 in US states ranged from a low of 4.7 percent in Hawaii to a high of 18.1 percent in Rhode Island. The national average is 12.8 percent. 

  • 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 compared with more experienced drivers. The most common types of crashes involve left turns, rear-end events, and running off the road.

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!

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