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.
Beginning drivers' crashes differ
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 crashes of older drivers, those of 16-year-olds more often involve driver error.
Sixteen-year-old drivers have a higher rate of crashes in which excessive speed is a factor.
More of 16-year-olds’ fatal crashes involve only the teen’s vehicle. Typically these are high-speed crashes in which the driver lost control.
Sixteen-year-olds’ fatal crashes are more likely to occur when other teenagers are in the car. The risk increases with every additional passenger.
Although this is a problem among drivers of all ages, it’s actually less of a problem for 16-year-olds. Thirteen percent of fatally injured drivers in 2003 had blood alcohol concentrations of 0.08 percent or greater.
This is a high-risk activity for beginners. Per mile driven, the nighttime fatal crash rate for 16-year-olds is about twice as high as during the day.
Low belt use:
Teenagers generally are less likely than adults to use 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.