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.


  • 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.

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