The biggest threat to teens’ safety is the vehicle sitting in their parents’ driveways. Yet, many parents and teenagers remain under-educated about the risks new drivers face.
The National Safety Council has compiled a list of statistics and facts many parents and young people do not – but should – know about teen driver safety:
- Car crashes are the number one killer of teens in the U.S.
- The most dangerous year of a teen’s life is the year he or she receives a license
- Half of all teens will be involved in a car crash before graduating from high school
- A teen’s crash risk is three times that of more experienced drivers
- After years of declines, teen driving crashes and fatalities are on the rise
- Just one teen passenger can increase a teen driver’s crash risk by 44 percent
- 75 percent of teen driver crashes occur because the teen made a critical error due to inexperience, such as driving too fast for conditions, not scanning for hazards or being distracted
- 52 percent of teens who are killed in a car crash are unbelted
- Cell phones are a huge driver of distraction for already inexperienced teen drivers, yet twelve states still allow some form of cell phone use for novice drivers
- About 20 percent of teen car crashes involve an underage drinking driver
“As teen traffic fatalities rise, parents are in a unique position to reverse this trend,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Parents have more influence on their teens’ driving habits than they think. National Teen Driver Safety Week is the perfect time for parents to educate themselves, teach their teens safe driving habits and save lives.”
According to the NSC State of Safety Report, individual states vary greatly in their efforts to reduce teen driving fatalities. California is the only state considered to be “On Track” for teen driver safety, however, other states, such as New Jersey, are finding success with new tactics to avoid teen crashes.
The NSC parent education initiative, DriveitHOME, is a website created for parents that focuses on the most important things parents can do to protect teen drivers. The site demonstrates that, though teen drivers face many dangers on the road, parent involvement can significantly reduce these crash risks. Visit DriveitHOME.org with your teen to sign the New Driver Deal and make a commitment to safety for your teen’s sake.