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Teen Driver Car Accident Statistics


text if image is missing Please note that many 2012 and 2013 teen car accident statistics have not yet been released. Please check back frequently for updated statistics.

Teenagers and Cars Can Be A Deadly Combination

Before you hand over the car keys to your teenager, know the facts. Auto accidents are the leading cause of death for teens ages 15 to 20. When teen drivers ride with other passengers, their risk of being in a fatal car crash doubles. Overall, teenagers underestimate or are unable to recognize hazardous driving conditions.

No matter what the cause, car accidents are scary and can cause life-changing injuries. Our attorneys and legal staff try to make things as simple as possible for you while working hard to get you the compensation you need and deserve. Call 1-866-9-4EDGAR (1-866-943-3427) for a free legal evaluation or fill out the form at the top right of this page for a free legal evaluation.

Here are more shocking statistics concerning teenage drivers:

Teen Drivers, Cell Phones, and Texting

  • 32.8% of high school students nationwide have texted or e-mailed while driving.
  • 12% of distracted drivers involved in fatal car accidents were teens ages 15 to 19.
  • Talking on a cell phone can double the likelihood of an accident and can slow a young driver's reaction time to that of a 70-year-old.
  • Drivers under the age of 20 make up the largest percentage of distracted drivers.
  • 56% of teens admit to talking on cell phones while driving.
  • 13% of teens admit to texting while driving.
  • 34% of teens age 16 and 17 admit that they send and respond to text messages while driving.
  • 48% of kids ages 12 to 17 report being in a car when the driver was texting.

Underage Drinking & Driving Statistics

  • About 1/4 of fatal teen car accidents involve underage drinking and driving. (MADD)
  • About 5.8% of 16- and 17-year-olds and 15.1% of 18- to 20-year-olds reported driving under the influence of alcohol in the past year. (MADD)
  • About 8.2% of high school students reported driving a car or other vehicle one or more times when they had been drinking alcohol.
  • 13.5% of 12th graders reported driving after drinking.
  • Kids who start drinking young are 7x more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash. (MADD)
  • 33% of the young drivers ages 15 to 20 who were killed in crashes had a BAC of .01 or higher and 28% had a BAC of .08 or higher (the legal limit for drivers over age 21).
  • Nearly 60% of young drivers involved in fatal drinking and driving crashes didn't use a seat belt.
  • 70 % of young drivers who died in underage drinking and driving accidents didn't use a seat belt.
  • 27% of the young male drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking at the time of the crash, compared with 15% of the young female drivers involved in fatal crashes.

Teen Driving Statistics By Year

2012 Teen Driver Car Accident Statistics

  • There were 2,823 motor vehicle accidents among people age 13- to 19-years-old.
  • 2,228 teenagers died in motor vehicle accidents in 2012.
  • Of all motor vehicle crash deaths, teenagers accounted for 8%.
  • In the first part of 2012, 240 16- and 17-year-old drivers died in car accidents.
  • Overall, 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths increased 19 percent from 2011.
  • Compared to all other days of the week, the most teen driving fatalities occurred on Sunday.

2011 Teen Driver Car Accident Statistics

  • 7.7% of students rarely or never wore a seat belt when riding in a car driven by someone else.
  • Only 54% of high school students reported they always wear a seat belt when riding with someone else.
  • More male (8.9%) than female (6.3%) students didn't wear a seat belt.
  • 32.8% of high school students nationwide texted or e-mailed while driving.

2010 Teen Driver Car Accident Statistics

  • 3,115 teenagers died in car accidents.
  • About 2 out of every 3 teenagers killed in car accidents were males.
  • 58% of teenage car accident fatalities were drivers.
  • 59% of teenage passenger deaths occurred in vehicles driven by another teen.
  • Among deaths of passengers of all ages, 17% occurred when a teenager was driving.
  • 81% of teenage motor vehicle deaths were passenger vehicle occupants. The others were:
    • pedestrians (9%)
    • motorcyclists (4%)
    • bicyclists (2%)
    • riders of all-terrain vehicles (2%)
    • people in other kinds of vehicles (2%)
  • 55% of teen car crash deaths happened on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
  • Half of teen car accident deaths occurred between 3 p.m. and midnight.
  • 54%, or 1,532, of the 2,814 teens killed in car accidents weren't wearing a seat belt.
  • 11% of fatal car accidents involving teens were related to distracted driving.

2009 Teen Driver Car Accident Statistics

  • 3,214 teens ages 15 to 19 were killed in car accidents.
  • 196,000 teens were injured.
  • Young drivers between 15- and 20-years-old accounted for 6.4% (13.3 million) of total drivers on the road.
  • 11% of the drivers involved in fatal crashes were between the ages of 15 and 20.
  • There were 3,589 male drivers involved in fatal crashes, as opposed to 1,558 female drivers. Also, there were 1,682 male driver fatalities, as opposed to 654 female fatalities.
  • Of the 5,148 young drivers involved in fatal crashes, nearly 20% had previous speeding convictions. More than 950 had been convicted previously with other harmful or moving offenses.
  • 33% of young drivers ages 15 to 20 killed in crashes had a BAC of .01 or higher and 28% had a BAC of .08 or higher.
  • 60% of young drivers involved in fatal crashes who were drinking didn't use a seat belt. Of the young drivers who were drinking and died in accidents, 70% didn't use a seat belt.

2009 Teen Motorcycle Accident Statistics

  • In 2009, 205 young motorcyclists (ages 15 to 20) were killed, and an additional 5,000 were injured.
  • Of the young motorcycle riders who were fatally injured, 26% were not wearing helmets.
  • Of the young motorcycle riders who were fatally injured, 39% were either unlicensed or driving with one that wasn't valid.

2008 Teen Driver Car Accident Statistics

  • 5,864 teen drivers ages 15-20 were involved in fatal car accident.
  • Young drivers between 15- and 20-years-old accounted for 6.4% (13.2 million) of total drivers on the road.
  • An average of nine teens ages 16-19 were killed every day from motor vehicle injuries.
  • 2,739 drivers ages 15-20 were killed and an additional 228,000 were injured in crashes.
  • A total of 4,054 teens between the ages of 13-19 died in car accidents.
  • 81% of teens killed in car accidents were passengers.
  • 63% of teenage passenger deaths occurred in vehicles driven by another teenager.
  • 20% of teen car accident deaths happened between 9 p.m. and midnight. 56% occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
  • August had the highest number of teen car accident fatalities.
  • 12% of all drivers involved in fatal accidents were between the ages of 15 and 20.
  • 14% of all drivers involved in police-reported crashes were young drivers.
  • About 2 out of every 3 teens killed in car accidents were male.
    • 36.9% of people killed in young driver crashes were the young drivers themselves
    • 31.4% were passengers of young drivers
    • 24.4% were occupants of other vehicles
    • 7.0% were non-motorists.
  • There were 87,004 drivers ages 16 and 17 on the roads in Pennsylvania.
  • There were 242 fatalities in accidents involving young drivers (ages 15-20) in Pennsylvania in 2008:
    • 112 of the deaths were young drivers themselves.
    • 64 of the deaths were passengers of young drivers.
    • 52 were occupants of other vehicles involved in the crashes.
    • 14 of the deaths were non-occupants.
  • 25% of drivers ages 15 to 20 who died in car crashes had a BAC of 0.08 or higher.
  • 63% of young drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes weren't wearing seat belts.
  • Almost 3 out of every 4 teen drivers killed in car crashes after drinking and driving weren't wearing a seat belt.

2008 Teen Motorcycle Accident Statistics

  • During 2008, 346 young motorcycle riders (age 15-20) were killed and an additional 8,000 were injured.
  • 35% of the bikers between 15 and 20 who were fatally injured in crashes in 2008 were not wearing helmets.
  • Of the young bikers involved in fatal crashes in 2008, 43% were either unlicensed or driving with an invalid license.
  • In 2008, 26% of young male motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes had been drinking at the time of the crash, compared to 13% of young female riders.
  • Among bikers ages 16-19 involved in fatal crashes in 2008, 49% were involved in single-vehicle crashes.

2007 Teen Driver Car Accident Statistics

  • 4,946 teenagers ages 13 to 19 died in motor vehicle crashes.
  • From 1998 to 2007:
    • 36.9% of people killed in car accidents involving teen drivers were the young drivers themselves.
    • 31.4% were passengers.
    • 24.4% were occupants of other vehicles.
    • 7% were non-motorists.
  • Approximately 2 out of every 3 teenagers killed in car accidents were males.
  • 61% of teen passenger deaths occurred in vehicles driven by another teenager. Among passenger deaths of all ages, 20% occurred when a teenager was driving.
  • Seat belt use among fatally injured teen drivers was higher than among fatally injured drivers ages 20 to 29 but lower than among drivers 30 and older.
  • Among fatally injured 16- to 19-year-old occupants, seat belt use among passengers (31%) was lower than among drivers (4%).
  • 55% of car accident deaths among teens occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
  • 34% of teenage car accident deaths occurred between 6 pm and midnight.
  • 22% of fatally injured male teenage drivers had high blood alcohol content levels, compared to 11% of females.

2006 Teen Driver Car Accident Statistics

  • 5,156 teenagers ages 13 to 19 died in motor vehicle crashes.
  • About 2 out of every 3 teenagers killed in auto accidents in 2006 were males.
  • Teenagers accounted for 10% of the U.S. population in 2006 and 12% of car accident fatalities.
  • Teens comprised:
    • 14% of motor vehicle deaths among all ages
    • 7% of pedestrian deaths
    • 4% of motorcyclist deaths
    • 10% of bicyclist deaths
  • 62% of teen passenger deaths occurred in vehicles driven by another teenager. Among deaths of passengers of all ages, 20% occurred when a teenager was driving.
  • 54% of car accident deaths among teens occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
  • 34% of teenage car accident deaths occurred between 6 pm and midnight.
  • About 18% of fatally injured drivers ages 16 to 17 had BACs of 0.08% or higher in 2006, down 57% since 1982.

2005 Teen Driver Car Accident Statistics

  • Car accidents were the leading cause of death among 13- to 19-year-old males and females in the United States. 33% of deaths among 13 to 19 year olds occurred in car accidents.
  • Almost 400,000 teenagers in auto accidents sustained injuries serious enough to require emergency treatment.
  • 16 to 19 year olds are at the highest risk to be involved in a car accident. This age group is 4x more likely than older drivers to crash.
  • Teenage male drivers and passengers were more than 1.5x more likely than their female peers to be involved in a fatal car crash.
  • Of male drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 who were involved in a fatal crash, 38% were speeding and 24% had consumed alcohol.
  • A 2005 national survey found nearly 30% of teens had ridden with a driver who had consumed alcohol within the previous month. 1 in 10 reported driving after drinking alcohol within the same period.
  • Among teen drivers killed in car accidents after drinking and driving, 74% weren't wearing seat belts.
  • Half of the teen deaths from car accidents occurred between 3 p.m. and midnight. 54% occurred on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Our Attorneys Defend Car Accident Victims

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident caused by a reckless teenager, call our law firm at 1-866-9-4EDGAR (1-866-943-3427) for a free evaluation. Our phones answer 24/7 or you can always submit your information online at the top right of this page. We’ll tell you if you have a case and, if you decide to hire us, get started right away. Remember, there’s never a fee unless we get money for you, so call today!

Looking for more statistics? View our accident statistics page.

Sources:
Teen Distracted Driver Data." U.S. Department of Transportation. June 2011.

"Teen Drivers: Fact Sheet." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Fatality Facts 2006." Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

"Distractions Challenge Teen Drivers." USA Today. January 26, 2007.
Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.
“New Study: Teen Driver Deaths Increase in 2012.” Governors Highway Safety Association. February 26, 2013.
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