Teens & Traffic Facts!

Here are some sobering facts about teens and driving accidents.

Gone in 60 Seconds....

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 to 20 year-olds. In 2004, 3,620 drivers 15 to 20 years old were killed, and an additional 303,000 were injured, in motor vehicle crashes.

  • In 2004, 7,898 15 to 20 year old drivers were involved in fatal crashes.

  • There were 196.2 million licensed drivers in the United States in 2003 (2004 data is not available at this time). Young drivers, between 15 and 20 years old, accounted for 6.3 percent (12.4 million) of the total! This is a 7.2 percent increase from the 11.6 million young drivers in 1993!


  • 27 percent (397) of the 15 to 20 year old drivers involved in fatal crashes who had an invalid operator's license at the time of the crash also had a previous license suspension or revocation.

  • 29 percent of the 15 to 20 year old drivers who were killed in motor vehicle crashes during 2004 had been drinking.

Motorcycles

  • During 2004, 300 young motorcycle drivers (15 to 20 years old) were killed and an additional 8,000 were injured.

  • During 2004, 38 percent of the motorcycle drivers between 15 and 20 years old who were fatally injured in crashes were not wearing helmets.

  • Helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatalities among motorcyclists. NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1316 motorcyclists of ALL ages in 2004, and if all motorcyclists had worn helmets, and additional 670 lives could have been saved.

  • Of the young motorcycle drivers (15 to 20 years old) involved in fatal crashes in 2004, more than one-third (39 percent) were either unlicensed or driving with an invalid license.

Drinking & Driving....Sobering Facts

  • In 2004, 24 percent of the young drivers 15 to 20 years old who were killed in crashes were intoxicated.

  • The numbers of drivers 15 to 20 years old involved in fatal crashes who were intoxicated dropped by 5 percent between 1994 and 2004.

  • For young drivers 15 to 20 years old, alcohol involvement is higher among males than among females.

  • In 2004 26 percent of the young male drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking at the time of the crash, compared with 12 percent of the young female drivers involved in fatal crashes.

  • Drivers are less likely to use restraints when they have been drinking.

  • In 2004, 63 percent of the young drivers of passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes who had been drinking were unrestrained.

  • Of the young drivers who had been drinking and were killed in crashes, 74 percent were unrestrained.

Some good news...

  • All of the states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia now have a 21 year old minimum drinking age laws. The NHTSA estimates that these laws have reduced traffic fatalities involving drivers 18 to 20 years old by 13 percent and have saved an estimated 23,733 lives since 1975.

  • In 2004, an estimated 906 lives were saved by minimum drinking age laws.

This information has been provided with the kind permission of the U.S. Department of Transportation (http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/ ).

For additional information, please visit the Teen Center.


Last Editorial Review: 9/11/2006




STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!