Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Six teens ages 16 to 19 die every day from motor vehicle injuries. Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.
Fortunately, teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable, and proven strategies can improve the safety of young drivers on the road.
Graduated Driver Licensing Night Driving Restrictions and Drivers Aged 16 or 17 Years Involved in Fatal Night Crashes — United States, 2009–2014
According to a CDC study, driving at night increases the risk for fatal crashes for all drivers, especially for young, inexperienced drivers. In recognition of this increased risk, 49 states and the District of Columbia include a night driving restriction in their Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system. However, in 23 states and the District of Columbia, night driving restrictions begin at 12:00 a.m. or later, times when most beginner teen drivers are not driving.
CDC MMWR: Driving among High School Students — United States, 2013
According to a CDC study, teens’ driving patterns vary depending on their race/ethnicity and where they live.
Findings from this study can aid states and communities in considering ways to improve safety for older teens new to driving and in planning for safe, affordable transportation options for teens who do not drive.
Teen Drinking and Driving - A Dangerous Mix
The percentage of teens in high school who drink and drive has decreased by more than half since 1991, but more can be done.