Teenage Drivers

Teenage Drivers

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teens according to the Centers for Disease Control’s Teen Driver Fact Sheet. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1,678 drivers age 16 to 20 died in motor vehicle crashes in 2014, compared with 1,651 drivers in this age group in 2013.

Drivers age 16 to 20 accounted for 5.5 percent of all licensed drivers, 8.5 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes and 12.0 percent of drivers in all crashes in 2014. Seventeen percent of drivers age 16 to 20 who were involved in fatal crashes in 2014 were alcohol-impaired, which is defined by a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams per deciliter or higher. The DOT found that more teenagers are involved in motor vehicle crashes late in the day and at night than at other times of the day. Teens also have a greater chance of getting involved in an accident if other teens are present in the vehicle, according to research from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm.

 

Drivers In Motor Vehicle Crashes By Age, 2014

Age group Number of
licensed drivers
Percent of
total
Drivers in fatal
crashes
Involvement
rate (1)
Drivers in all
crashes
Involvement
rate (1)
16 to 20 11,649,902 5.5% 3,803 32.64 1,298,000 11,138
21 to 24 14,358,484 6.8 4,654 32.41 1,202,000 8,373
25 to 34 37,360,848 17.6 8,972 24.01 2,331,000 6,238
35 to 44 35,863,375 16.9 6,894 19.22 1,804,000 5,029
45 to 54 39,497,005 18.6 7,350 18.61 1,705,000 4,318
55 to 64 36,852,500 17.4 5,997 16.27 1,318,000 3,576
65 to 74 23,832,010 11.2 3,314 13.91 640,000 2,686
Over 74 14,616,177 6.9 2,641 18.07 363,000 2,486
Total 214,092,472 100.0% 44,583 (2) 20.82 10,773,000 (2) 5,032

(1) Per 100,000 licensed drivers.
(2) Includes drivers under the age of 16 and of unknown age.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Federal Highway Administration.

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Motor Vehicle Deaths Per 100,000 Persons By Age, 2014

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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Percent Of Alcohol-Impaired Drivers Involved In Fatal Crashes By Age, 2005 And 2014 (1)

Age 2005 2014 Point change
16 to 20 17% 17% 0 pt.
21 to 24 33 30 -3
25 to 34 29 29 0
35 to 44 24 24 0
45 to 54 19 20 1
55 to 64 13 16 3
65 to 74 7 10 3
Over 74 4 6 2

(1) Alcohol-impaired driving crashes are crashes that involve at least one driver or a motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or above, the legal definition of drunk driving.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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