Everyone has heard the scary statistics about teen drivers. Every parent worries when their teen grabs the car keys and heads out the door. Every parent's worst fear is that their child won't make it home safely. The statistics are alarming regarding teen and young adult drivers Teens and young adults have higher crash rates not just because they are inexperienced drivers, but also because they tend to engage in riskier behaviors that increase danger on the roads.
From Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) comes the startling fact that car collisions are the leading cause of death for teens; approximately one quarter of these deaths involve underage drinking. From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we learn that In 2011, about 2,650 teens in the US aged 16–19 died, and almost 292,000 were injured in motor-vehicle crashes; seven teens ages 16 to 19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries. Teens are more likely to speed, to tailgate, to not use seatbelts, and to be distracted by cell phones and passengers than any other demographic.
The good news is that great strides are being made to improve safety and reduce the number of teens injured or killed in motor vehicle crashes. For example, graduated driver licensing systems are being implemented, which build teen drivers' experience while limiting crash risks such as passenger distraction, nighttime driving and cell phone use. Also, many parents of teen drivers are choosing newer, safer vehicles with current safety features for their children. And now, monitoring devices are available that flag risky behavior such as speeding, sudden braking, abrupt acceleration and non-use of belts. Research shows a monitoring device can reduce teens' risks behind the wheel, and some insurers offer discounts for using one.
We at Accident Data Center see everyday the terrible aftermath of vehicle crashes that involve teens and young adults. It is our dearest hope that we as a nation can continue to reduce the numbers of teen injuries and deaths caused by accidents on America's roadways.