Car crashes kill more young people than any other cause, accounting for nearly half of all teen deaths in America each year. Over 2,700 teens die each year in car crashes and tens of thousands more are injured.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, on average, 67% of these teens are males, and the crash rates for 16- to 19-year-olds is nearly 3 times the rate for drivers over 20. The Center for Disease Control reports that crash risk is particularly high during the first months of licensure, but most people don’t know why.
The most common causes of teen driving crashes are the ones that young drivers (and their parents) know the least about. Combined with a lack of driving experience, the top five dangers are:
- Distractions, like cell phones and passengers;
- Driving at night and drowsiness;
- Speeding and street racing;
- Not wearing a seat belt; and
- Impairments, like underage drinking and drugs.
Most teens and parents are unaware of the driving restrictions imposed on them by the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws. Serious crashes are more frequent for teens learning through parent-taught driver education.
Besides the human tragedy of teen deaths, the societal costs of these crashes amount to $30 billion per year for the United States.
TTI’s Youth Transportation Safety Program seeks to save lives and reduce injuries among America’s youth by developing and delivering the nation’s most comprehensive suite of transportation safety programs and projects addressing young driver and passenger safety. Learn more about our solutions to save young lives and create safer users of the road.