Learning to drive is often considered a rite of passage for teenagers. But with the reward of being a new driver comes real risk.
Know the Facts
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for US teens.
- More than 2,300 teens (ages 16‒19) lost their lives in car crashes in 2015—that’s six teens every day.
- 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.
- Driver inexperience is a main cause of fatal crashes for teen drivers.
- The number one threat to teens’ safety is driving or riding in a car with a teen driver.
- Fortunately, teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable.
- Always buckle up, it’s the simplest way to prevent car crash deaths.
- Parents Are the Key to Save Teen Drivers
- Proven Strategies to Prevent Motor Vehicle Injuries among Teen Drivers
Comprehensive graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems help new drivers gain experience under lower-risk conditions by granting driving privileges in stages. Research shows that more comprehensive GDL systems prevent more crashes and deaths than less comprehensive GDL systems. Components of comprehensive GDL systems include:
- A minimum age of 16 years for learner’s permits.
- A mandatory holding period of at least 12 months for learner’s permits.
- Nighttime driving restrictions between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. (or longer) for intermediate or provisional license holders.
- A limit of zero or one young passenger who can ride with intermediate or provisional license holders without adult supervision.
- A minimum age of 18 years for unrestricted licensure.
Primary enforcement seat belt laws that cover occupants in all seating positions is another effective strategy to prevent or reduce crash-related injuries and deaths involving teen drivers.addressing primary health care providers.