Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home

CDC Vital Signs: Teen Drinking and Driving, A Dangerous Mix

1 in 10 teens in high school drinks and drives.

Teen drivers are three times more likely than more experienced drivers to be in a fatal crash. Drinking any alcohol greatly increases this risk.

Learn how to prevent teen drinking & driving

Motor Vehicle Safety

Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.1 More than 2.3 million adult drivers and passengers were treated in emergency departments as the result of being injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2009.2 The economic impact is also notable: the lifetime costs of crash-related deaths and injuries among drivers and passengers were $70 billion in 2005.3

CDC's research and prevention efforts target this serious public health problem. We focus on improving car and booster seat and seat belt use and reducing impaired driving, and helping groups at risk: child passengers, teen drivers, and older adult drivers. CDC also works to prevent pedestrian and bicycle injuries.

Based on the magnitude of the health problem, and our ability to make significant progress in improving outcomes, Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention is a CDC Winnable Battle.

State-based Costs of Crash Deaths from CDC

Photo: cars in traffic on the highway

The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 2011 to 2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety. CDC is excited to be part of this effort to enhance focus on protecting people on the road. As a first step, CDC is releasing fact sheets showing the tremendous cost burden of deaths from motor vehicle crashes in the United States, and highlighting strategies to prevent these deaths.

Learn more

Ten Significant Public Health Achievements ― United States, 2001-2010: Motor Vehicle Safety

MMWR: Ten Great Public Health Achievements, United States, 2001-2010

Crash-related deaths and injuries are largely preventable. From 2000 to 2009, while the number of vehicle miles traveled on the nations roads increased, the death rate related to that travel declined.

Learn more


  1. CDC. WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System). Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2010. Available at Accessed October 12, 2010.
  2. CDC. Vital Signs: Nonfatal, motor vehicle-occupant injuries (2009) and seat belt use (2008) among adults—United States. MMWR 2011; 59.
  3. Naumann RB, Dellinger AM, Zaloshnja E, Lawrence BA, Miller TR. Incidence and total lifetime costs of motor vehicle-related fatal and nonfatal injury by road user type, United States, 2005. Traffic Inj Prev 2010;11:353-60.


Almost half of all black (45%) and Hispanic (46%) children who died in crashes were not buckled up (2009-2010).

Prevention Status Reports. Learn more…
Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC)
    4770 Buford Hwy, NE
    MS F-63
    Atlanta, GA 30341-3717
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC–INFO The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #