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Teen Driving Statistics

Inexperience and bad decision-making lead the way for teen accidents.


When it comes to teen driving statistics, none is more startling than this: a THIRD of all teen deaths are caused by motor vehicle crashes.1

Consider this: Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of teen death and kill more teens than suicide, homicide, cancer or any other medical condition.1


Every 15 Minutes: 36,560 lost lives on US roads in 2018. That means that someone died every 15 minutes due to an automobile collision.2

Know Teen Driving Statistics

Bad Math: On average, a drunk driver kills someone every 51 minutes and injures someone every 2 minutes. That's over 720 people injured or killed each day because of drinking and driving.3

2,526 Teens Dead: 2,526 US teens took their last breath during a motor vehicle crashes in 2017. Another 300,000 teens were injured and required treatment in emergency rooms.1, 2

Unsweet 16: Crash risk is extremely high during the first months of a new driver being licensed. In 2017, data shows that the crash rate for 16-year-olds is 150% higher than it is for 18-19-year-olds. The first 500 miles driven by a newly licensed driver are the most challenging and dangerous.1

Driving at Night and Speeding are Major Teen Driving Issues

The Need for Speed: Speeding is an ongoing issue for teen drivers. In 2016, it was a factor in 32% of the fatal crashes that involved teen drivers.2

Coming Unbuckled: Compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use. In 2017, 5.9% of teen passengers reported rarely or never wearing a seat belt recently.4

Nighttime is the Wrong Time: In 2017, 40% of motor vehicle crash deaths among teen drivers and passengers occurred during the nighttime hours, and 51% occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. 1

Males at Risk: In 2017, the motor vehicle death rate for male teen drivers was over two times higher than the death rate for female teen drivers.1

The More the Unmerrier: The presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers, and the risk increases as the number of teen passengers increase.1

Road Worries: 20% of nighttime weekend drivers tested positive for some type of drug in the 2013-2014 National Roadside Survey. 5

Teens and THC While Driving on the Rise

High and Getting Higher: In just a six-year period, there was a shocking 48% increase in weekend nighttime drivers who tested positive for THC. 5

By the Numbers: By the time teens reach the 12th grade:

- 66% of students have tried alcohol
- 50% have tried marijuana
- 20% have tried prescription drugs without a prescription1

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Data Sources

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website - CDC.gov
  2. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - NHTSA.gov
  3. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) - MADD.org
  4. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - teendriversource.org
  5. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration / US DOT 2013-2014 National Roadside Survey