Auto Accidents & Teens

Auto accidents and teens statistics show that auto accident fatalities are the leading cause of death for young people in America. Teenagers comprise less than seven percent of the total population but are involved in fourteen percent of all auto accidents. Auto accident and teens statistics also show that teenagers are four times more likely to be killed in an auto accident than are people older than twenty-five.

Teen Auto Accident Statistics

Each hour in the United States, the combination of auto accidents and teen driving results in a fatality. Cases of auto accidents and teen driving occur on the weekends fifty-three percent of the time. Of all fatal teen auto accidents, one-third involves speed-related collisions and one-quarter involves the use of alcohol.

The good news is that recent reports indicate that cases of auto accidents and teen driving are declining in our nation. This decrease in teen auto accidents is attributed to programs that give licenses to teens only after they have passed a provisional permit period. Provisional license restrictions vary by location but most permit a teenager to drive only while accompanied by an adult. This limits unsupervised and night driving while allowing a teen to gain more experience on the road before driving alone. Many states have also increased the minimum age at which a teenager can receive a driver’s license.

Main Causes

Inexperience on the road and risk-taking are two main causes of the high occurrence of auto accidents and teens driving. Eighty-two percent of all teen auto accidents are the result of driver error. There are several things that parents and teens can do to reduce the likelihood of auto accidents and teens driving. Parents can have a major effect on their children’s driving practices. Limiting a child’s night and unsupervised driving, limiting cell phone use and multiple passenger outings, choosing safe vehicles, encouraging seat belt use, and training teens for poor weather and other adverse driving conditions can greatly reduce your child’s chance of being involved in an auto accident.

Alcohol & Drugs

Discussing the use of alcohol and drugs may also be an integral part of preparing teens for unsupervised driving. Over 17,000 teenagers were killed in alcohol-related auto accidents between 2000 and 2002. Twenty percent of all teen auto accident fatalities involve the use of drugs or alcohol. Boys are three times more likely to be involved in teen auto accidents involving alcohol than girls are. Nineteen-year-olds are about twenty times more likely to be involved in these types of accidents than thirteen-year-olds. Cases of auto accidents and teens driving under the influence are also more likely to occur in the hours after dark and on the weekends.

Risk Reduction

Because of the high frequency of auto accidents and teens driving, it is important for law officials, communities, parents, and teens to take every measure to reduce the risks of auto accidents involving the teenage population. Teenagers who take the time to gain driving experience, follow safety precautions and refrain from using drugs or alcohol while operating a motor vehicle can greatly reduce their risks of suffering an auto accident.