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CDC Resources: Safe Teen Driving

Learning to drive is often considered a rite of passage for teenagers. But with the reward of being a new driver comes real risk. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, taking the lives of six teens a day. CDC's Injury Center is committed to preventing teen crashes and related deaths and injuries.

Graphic: Handing your teen the car keys - are you confident of concerned?CDC's study, Driving Among High School Students – United States, 2013 (published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report [MMWR]) provides estimates of teen driving by state. Nationwide, 76 percent of high school students ages 16 and younger reported having driven during the past 30 days. Driving prevalence was higher in the Midwestern and mountain states. Across 42 states, the percentage of students who drove ranged from 54 percent to 90 percent. This information can assist states and communities as they consider potential ways to improve safety for novice teenage drivers and plan for safe, affordable transportation options for those who do not drive.

According to the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance – United States, 2013 (MMWR), 41 percent of high school students who drive report texting or emailing while driving during the past 30 days.

Because one out of every three teen deaths is the result of a motor vehicle crash, further reductions in teen crashes and related injuries are essential. CDC's "Parents Are the Key" campaign and Prevention Status Reports can help parents, policymakers, and others take steps to save young lives.

"Parents Are the Key" Campaign Launched Nationally

CDC developed the "Parents Are the Key" campaign to help inform parents across the nation about the key role they can—and should—play in protecting their teen drivers. "Parents Are the Key" campaign materials can be used to help parents learn about the most dangerous driving situations for their young driver and how to avoid them. All of the campaign materials—including a parent-teen safe driving agreement —are available free of charge at Parents are the Key to Safe Teen Drivers.

CDC is making these resources available to provide parents, policymakers, and others with proven information on how to help teen drivers live to their full potential.

  • Page last reviewed: February 1, 2016
  • Page last updated: February 1, 2016
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