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Safe Teen Driving

Teenage driver taking keys from parentCDC's Injury Center is committed to preventing teen crashes and related deaths and injuries.

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.

CDC's study Parental Perceptions of Teen Driving: Restrictions, Worry and Influence  reveals that most parents report having rules and restrictions for their teen drivers, but only a small percentage formalize the rules and restrictions in a written parent-teen driving agreement. Parents worry less about their teen driver's safety during the newly licensed phase, when crash risk is high as compared to the learning phase. Implementing parent-teen driving agreements and updating existing agreements can assist families in keeping restrictions and expectations clear and ongoing as teens gain experience driving independently.

	Graphic: Be a safe driving coach.

Always buckle up, it’s the simplest way to prevent car crash deaths.

According to the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance – United States, 2015, 42 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 to Save Teen Drivers

CDC's "Parents Are the Key" campaign helps inform parents 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 driving agreement [465 KB]—are available free of charge at Parents Are the Key to Safe Teen Drivers.

CDC made these resources available to provide parents, pediatricians, policymakers, and others with proven information about how to help teen drivers live to their full potential.

	Graphic: One of the most important safety features for your teen driver is you.

Parents can make a difference. Discuss your rules of the road with your teen and create a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement that puts these rules in writing to set clear expectations and limits.

Prevention Status Reports highlight proven strategies to prevent motor vehicle injuries

CDC's Prevention Status Reports (PSRs) highlight—for all 50 states and the District of Columbia—the status of policies and practices designed to prevent or reduce important public health problems including motor vehicle injuries. The state reports include summary tables and ratings for each state, an interactive map, fact sheets, frequently asked questions, and more. PSRs are used to support public health planning, priority setting, and communication in your state. See how effective your state is in preventing or reducing crash-related injuries and deaths.

  • Page last reviewed: October 14, 2016
  • Page last updated: October 14, 2016
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