Teens have the highest involvement rates in all types of crashes.

  • Many fatal teen crashes involve excessive speed or driving too fast for existing road conditions.
  • 77% of teen crashes involved avoidable driver errors.
  • The AAA Foundation analysis shows that from 1995 through 2004 crashes involving 15, 16, and 17-year-old drivers claimed the lives of 30,917 people nationwide, of which only 11,177 (36.2%) were the teen drivers themselves. The remaining 19,740 (63.6%) included 9,847 passengers of the teen drivers, 7,477 occupants of other vehicles operated by drivers at least 18 years of age, 2,323 non-motorists. The analysis also shows that 12,413 of these fatalities occurred in single vehicle crashes involving only the vehicle operated by the teenage driver.
  • Two teens in a car increases the likelihood of a crash by 86 percent, three teens by 182 percent, according to research conducted by Johns Hopkins University.
  • Only about 20 percent of teen driving occurred at night, but approximately 50 percent of teen fatalities (those occurring with a teenager at the wheel) occurred during the hours of darkness.
  • Traffic crashes are the number one cause of death among the children and young adults.
  • Young drivers are involved in fatal traffic crashes at over twice the rate as the rest of the population.
  • Exceeding the posted speed limit or driving at an unsafe speed is the most common error in fatal accidents.
  • Teen drivers killed in motor vehicle collisions had a youth passenger in the automobile 45% of the time.
  • According to a recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study on crash rates by the number of passengers across different driver age groups, crash rates for teens rise significantly as the number of passengers increases.  This is especially true for the most inexperienced drivers (16- and 17-year-olds).  In 1999, 16- and 17-year-old teens driving with no passengers were involved in 1.6 accidents per 10,000 trips, yet the rate rises to 2.3 accidents with one passenger, 3.3 accidents with two passengers, and sharply rises to 6.3 accidents with three or more passengers in the car.  This latter number is three times greater than the accident rate per 10,000 trips for 18- and 19-year-old teens driving with three or more passengers.

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