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 United States. According to the most recent teen driver safety statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 2,500 adolescents (ages 12-19) died in motor vehicle crashes in 2018 and approximately 297,000 nonfatal injuries occurred among adolescents as a result of motor vehicle crashes in 2018.

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. 

Watch this video to improve communication with your teen:



In 2018, fatal and nonfatal motor vehicle crash injuries among adolescents (ages 12-19) resulted in approximately $12 billion in medical and work-loss costs. 

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%) 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.

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

  • Over 60% of pediatric spinal fractures occur in children ages 15-17, coinciding with the beginning of legal driving. Motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) are the most common cause, and nearly two-thirds of pediatric spinal fractures sustained in MVCs occurred when seat belts were not used.

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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