- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. On average, more than 300,000 teens are injured in car crashes each year, nearly 8,000 are involved in fatal crashes and more than 3,500 are killed. According to the NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, National Automotive Sampling System and General Estimates System, in 2009, 5,474 drivers under age 20 died and 448,000 were seriously injured. Most of these crashes were due to speeding.
Crashes by Gender
- According to the NHTSA, in 2008, 4,174 males were involved in fatal crashes and 2,010 were killed, while 1,688 females were involved in fatal crashes and 727 were killed. Male drivers tend to drive much more than female drivers, accounting for some of the differences, but they're also more likely to embrace risky behavior including speeding.
Crashes and Passengers
- According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, almost half of the crash deaths involving 16 year old teen drivers in 2003 took place when they drove with teen passengers present. The IIHS also reported that the fatality risk of teen drivers aged 16 to 17 years is 3.6 times higher when driving with passengers than driving alone. These statistics show that death rates increase with each additional passenger. Passengers may encourage the teen driver to engage in reckless driving including speeding.
Most Likely Dates for Crashes
- Almost 54 percent of driving crashes happen over the last three days of the week. These days, especially saturdays, are critical for teen drivers since they spend almost all of that time at events such as parties, dance clubs or concerts where alcohol is served. In 2003, more than 40 percent of deaths occurred between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. The riskiest months for teen drivers are from May to August, but January first is one of the deadliest days according to researchers.