Automobile accident rates for beginning drivers are much higher than any other demographic category. The 16 year-olds in this film tell why they want their driver's license and what driving means to them. Also, hear from the parents of teenagers who have tragically died in crashes as they tell how these tragedies occurred and how their families have been forever affected.
Teen drivers have the highest crash risk of any age group. Per mile traveled, they have the highest involvement rates in crashes from those involving only property damage to those that are fatal. The problem is worst among 16-year-olds who have the most limited driving experience and an immaturity that often results in risk taking behind the wheel. The characteristics of 16-year-olds’ fatal crashes highlight these problems.
Compared with adults' fatal crashes, those of teens more often involve driver error.
Excessive speed is a factor in about a third of teens' fatal crashes.
Many fatal crashes involve only the teen's vehicle. Typically these are high-speed crashes in which the teenage driver loses control.
Inexperienced 16 year-olds have especially high crash rates per 10,000 drivers in their first months of licensure.
Teens' fatal crashes are more likely to occur when young passengers are riding with them. The risk increases with the addition of every passenger. Just over half of teen passenger deaths occur with teen drivers.
Teens are less likely than adults to drive after drinking alcohol, but their crash risk is substantially higher when they do. About 1 in 5 fatally injured teens have blood alcohol concentrations of 0.08 percent or more.
Per mile driven, the fatal crash rate of 16-19 year-olds is about 4 times as high at night as it is in the day.
Low belt use:
Most teens who are killed in crashes aren't using their safety belts.
For more information on what parents of teenagers can do to help promote teen driver safety, and to access our Parent/Teen Driving Contract, please download this Beginning Teen Drivers Guide.