42 Interesting Facts & Stats About Teen Driving

by Raj Vardhman

With millions of inexperienced teen drivers on the road, collisions and accidents are inevitable. However, they can be reduced by improving the quality of the education that the new drivers are receiving from home, schools, and other institutions.

Here are some facts and statistics that show just how much we need to work on this issue.

Quick Teen Driving Facts

  • Teens are 10 times more likely to be in a fatal car accident than adults.
  • Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among teenagers in the US.
  • Most of the fatal teen car accidents occur six months after obtaining the license.
  • Two-thirds of teen passenger deaths occur with other teens behind the wheel.
  • A third of all teen crashes occur at intersections.

People Also Ask

How many 16-year-olds drive?

The number of young drivers on the US roads has been steadily declining since the 1960s. Back in 2014, the number of 16-year-old drivers was 1.08 million, and it is estimated that the number is considerably lower in 2019.

What is the percentage of teenage driving accidents?

According to Geico and its published teenage driving statistics, 25% of 16-year-old drivers are involved in a car accident during their first year of driving. The percentage of teenage driving accidents is slightly lower with older teenagers.

What is the most common cause of teen driving accidents?

We’ve already mentioned that speed is a factor in close to a third of all fatal teen driving accidents. However, there are three driving maneuvers that seem to be an issue for teens in the US, as they are the main causes of crashes:

  • Left-hand turns
  • Rear-end events
  • Running off the road
How many teenage crashes happen per year?

There are 6 million car crashes in the US every year. Even though no exact numbers are provided, according to statistics, teenagers are responsible for 500,000 of them.

Deadly Teen Driving Statistics

  • 31% of fatal teen car accidents are caused by speeding

With speed being the main factor close to a third of all car crashes that have teenage victims, it’s obvious that this demographic needs to learn more about road safety.

This is a responsibility that should be shared by parents, educators, and car manufacturers alike.

  • 8% of all road casualties are young drivers

There are around 13.2 million young drivers aged 16-20 on the road. This number translates to 6.4% of the total number of drivers on the road. However, young drivers account for 8% of all road accidents with a deadly outcome.

  • 2,433 teenagers were killed in car crashes back in 2016

According to teenage driving accidents statistics, 2,433 of those aged 16-19 were killed in car crashes across the US during 2016. The data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also states that the number of teenagers injured in motor vehicle accidents during the year was 292,742. These numbers show an increase of 3% when compared to 2015.

Since 2016, however, a decrease of 4% was reported, with around 100 teenage casualties less registered in 2017.

  • 60% of teenage car crash fatalities were unrestrained

One of the most devastating pieces of information about fatal teen crashes is that most of them were preventable, as 60% of them weren’t wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.

  • Two out of every three teenage motor vehicle crash fatalities are male

Teen driving accident reports show that the majority of teenagers that die in car accidents are males. With just one-third of all motor vehicle crash fatalities being female, we can clearly see which gender is more careful behind the wheel.

Even though the numbers are still high, car crash deaths among male teens are down by 72% compared to 1975, when safety standards were basically nonexistent. When it comes to female teens, the number of fatalities has reduced by 58%.

Teenage Distracted Driving Statistics

Teen Drunk Driving Statistics

  • 53% of fatal motor vehicle crashes that include teens occur during the weekend

More than half of all car crashes that have teenage fatalities occur during the weekend when they are most likely to consume alcohol and get behind the wheel, teenage driving statistics tell us.

  • More than 40% of fatal crashes involving teens occur between 9 pm and 6 am

Along the same line, 40% of all car crashes with teenage fatalities occur during the night. This is why 40 of the US states have decided to restrict night driving for novice drivers. The list of states and the time periods these restrictions are in place can be seen here.

  • 25% of fatal teen crashes involve drinking

A quarter of all fatal crashes that took the lives of teenagers involve alcohol. Even though they are under the legal drinking age limit, alcohol is, after speeding, the most common cause of car crash fatalities in this age group.

  • 27% of underage male drivers involved in fatal crashes consumed alcohol

Once again, male teenage drivers seem to be more reckless, with 27% of male car crash calamities under the age of 21 having traces of alcohol in their system.

  • 15% of underage female drivers involved in fatal crashes consumed alcohol

Even though females under the age of 21 are less likely to drink and drive, 15% of all car crash casualties of this gender have had alcohol before the fatal accident occurred, according to teen driving statistics.

Teen Texting and Driving Statistics

  • Texting and driving leads to 1.6 million car crashes every year

Teen driving and texting is one of the major road safety hazards. Texting and driving is the main cause of 1.6 million car accidents that occur every year. This means that more than a quarter of all crashes are caused by texting.

  • Texting is six times more likely to cause an accident than drinking

Even though both of these practices are major road hazards, texting appears to be six times more dangerous than drinking, as it is that many times more likely to lead to a motor vehicle accident.

  • 56% of teen drivers admit to talking on the phone while driving

When it comes to teens and their phone addiction, 56% of them can’t seem to shake it while driving and admit to talking on the phone while being behind the wheel, teen driver accidents surveys find.

  • 32.8% of high school students in the US have texted while driving

Texting and sending emails is another worrying practice of young drivers. Even 32.8% of high schoolers across the US admit that they’ve, at some point, engaged in texting and driving.

  • 48% of those aged 12-17 have been in a car with a driver that was texting

Almost half of pre-teens and teens have been in a car with a driver that prioritized texting over his and his passengers’ safety.

Teen vs Adult Texting and Driving Statistics

  • 49% of adult drivers use their cellphone while driving

Almost half of all American drivers admit to using their cellphones while driving. Whether it’s for texting, emailing, or making calls, cell phone use behind the wheel is unacceptable as it causes a major risk and sets a bad example for children that witness this behavior.

  • 98% of adults say they know that texting while driving is unsafe

According to a USA Today survey, the vast majority of adult drivers are aware of the fact that their behavior is dangerous, yet half of them still decide to text while driving.

  • 30% of distracted drivers that had a car accident in Colorado were young adults

Teen drivers facts and stats show that out of 57,298 distracted driving crashes that occurred in Colorado from 2012-2015, 30% of those behind the wheel were under the age of 30.

  • 88.4% of those aged 19-24 commonly text, speed, or run red lights

A survey that involved 2,500 US residents concluded that 88.4% of them engage in texting and other dangerous driving habits. An astonishing 79.2% of those between the ages of 25 and 39 reported the same, while teenagers 16-18 years old engaged in these reckless activities in the lowest percentile — 69.3%.

Teenage Drivers Accidents Statistics

  • Just 65% of teen drivers wear a seatbelt constantly

Teen drivers appear to be careless with one of the most basic aspects of road safety — seatbelts. Geico points out that 74,000 young people die or are injured every year due to this basic mistake.

  • In 2010, 58% of teenage car accident fatalities were drivers

The majority of teenagers killed in car accidents nine years ago were drivers. During 2010, 59% of teen passenger deaths occurred while another teen was driving. The percentages from nearly a decade ago are similar to today’s stats.

  • 4.4% of 17-year-old drivers from Pennsylvania were involved in car crashes during 2016

Young drivers in Pennsylvania seem to be particularly prone to accidents. In 2016, 4.4% of 17-year-old drivers from this state were involved in an accident, while the percentage of those involved in car crashes aged 18 was 4.7%.

  • 21.6% of new drivers from the UK are involved in accidents in their first year of driving

Teen driving statistics show that young drivers from the UK are a bit more cautious than their American counterparts. In the UK, every fifth driver gets into a car accident during their first year of driving.

  • 39% of UK road fatalities are young drivers

A total of 337 fatalities in motor vehicle accidents were reported in the UK during 2013. Young car drivers, aged 17-24, accounted for 39% of those fatalities.

Facts about Teen Driving and Collisions

  • Teens accounted for $13.6 billion in total 2016 cost of motor vehicle injuries

Those aged 16-19 represented 6.5% of the US population in 2016, with the majority of them not driving, yet they accounted for 8.4% of all motor vehicle injury costs and damages. This translates to $13.6 billion.

  • For 16-17-year-olds, the fatal crash risk per mile driven is doubled

Compared to those aged 18-19, drivers in their first two years on the road are much more likely to be in a fatal accident. The risk per mile driven is nearly doubled.

  • Teen driver accidents and crash risks increase with the number of teen passengers

According to a study conducted by the Center for Research and Policy at John Hopkins University, the risk of fatal injury for teenage drivers increases with the number of passengers, especially for 16 or 17-year-old drivers. The study supported the restrictions for carrying passengers for beginners.

  • Male drivers aged 16-19 are twice more likely to die in a car accident

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that the death rate for male teenage drivers (16-19) was doubled compared to their female peers. The data used was from 2016, but the conclusion still stands in 2019.

  • Teens are less likely to recognize hazardous situations

Young drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 are more likely to develop reckless and risky driving habits, which lead to an increased likelihood of violations and accidents, study finds. Disregarding the basic driving safety facts and principles is common in their first months on the road.

Teen Driver Car Accident Statistics

  • Teenagers in California get into 50% more drunk driving accidents during the summer

According to the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, Californian teenagers are 50% more likely to cause traffic accidents while driving drunk during the summer months. The increase starts in May, while car accident numbers peak in August.

  • Days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the deadliest for people under 20

There are 101 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and this seems to be the period with the most teen crashes and car crash fatalities in North California.

  • Young drivers account for over 50% of car crashes caused by drowsiness

It is estimated that 1 in 10 crashes are caused by drowsy drivers. More than half of those drivers are 16-24 years old. Drowsiness is almost as dangerous as drunk driving, experts point out.

  • 90% of teens in fatal crashes had teen passengers to distract them

Despite drunk driving and texting being regarded as main distractions and accident causes for drivers of all ages, being distracted by passengers is a major factor in fatal teen crashes.

Car Insurance for Teenagers, Is it Worth it?

Car insurance is a necessity, and that should be more clear than ever after reading through the teen driver facts and statistics listed above. Teenagers are a liability every time they get into a car, so the question shouldn’t be whether to get car insurance, but rather which insurance to get.

Teenagers who own cars and have their own insurance policies will be forced to pay an insurance premium for that privilege. Due to their age, high-risk auto insurance can’t be avoided.

Parents who decide to add their teen to an already existing insurance policy will also see a pricing increase, and they should look into the best and cheapest car insurance coverages.

Conclusion

Even though the teen driving statistics listed above are a cause for concern, young drivers across the US and around the world are safer every day, mostly due to the car industry tech boom that we’ve been witnessing for the last few years.

Despite cars being able to brake and stay in lane for us, the basics need to be covered — don’t drink and drive, don’t text while driving, and fasten your seatbelt.

Sources

https://driving-tests.org/driving-statistics/
http://www.rmiia.org/auto/teens/Teen_Driving_Statistics.asp

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html

https://www.sps186.org/downloads/basic/272002/Teen-Driving-Straight-Facts.pdf

https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/teenagers

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2016/04/america-fewest-16-year-old-drivers-1960s/477135/

https://www.geico.com/information/safety/auto/teendriving/statistics/

https://www.driverknowledge.com/car-accident-statistics/

https://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/cause-of-accident/cell-phone/cell-phone-statistics.html

https://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/who-was-injured/teen/teen-driving-statistics.html

https://www.sawayalaw.com/blog/texting-driving-statistics-teens-vs-adults/

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international/New-Study-Shows-That-Young-Adults-Are-More-Likely-to-Text-and-Drive–413770593.html

https://www.ala.co.uk/connect/tackling-young-driver-accidents/

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/448039/young-car-drivers-2013-data.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10735394

https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/teenagers

https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1988-35414-001

https://www.wrap.org/pdfs/2018SafeRoadsDataReport.pdf

https://www.gjel.com/news/california-teen-driver-summer-safety-statistics-resources.html

https://www.rand.org/blog/2018/03/teens-are-driving-drowsy-every-day-and-thats-dangerous.html

https://www.tariolaw.com/teen_driving_accidents_facts_statistics/

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