Tips, Stats & Facts
Compiled from various sources by TEEN TRACK
There are nearly 10 million licensed drivers in the U.S. under the age of 19. Nearly 400 thousand of them are licensed in New York State alone.
What teens & parents need to know about keeping safe
on the road:
What Teens Should Know:
- Driving is a privilege, not a right.
- The main cause of auto accidents among teens is inexperience.
- Auto accidents are the leading cause of death among those aged 16-20, more so than suicide, homicide, drugs or any other cause of death.
- Between 5,000 and 6,000 teens die and more than 300,000 teens are injured in auto accidents in the U.S. per year.
- Sixteen teenagers die per day due to auto accidents in the U.S.
- Property damage and health care expenses due to teen driver-related accidents cost nearly $14 billion in the U.S. per year.
- The most dangerous period of time for new drivers is within the first 12-24months of getting a license.
- Most auto accidents among teens occur between the hours of 9pm and 6am.
- 74% of teens who die in auto accidents are not wearing seatbelts.
- Teens have twice as many accidents as drivers over the age of 35.
- The presence of one other teen passenger doubles the risk of a fatal crash.
- Having two or more teen passengers increases the risk of a fatal crash five times.
- Teen drivers are more likely to get distracted while adjusting the radio, interacting with passengers, talking on a cell phone, or eating/drinking while driving.
- A teen talking on a cell phone or texting while driving quadruples the risk of a fatal crash.
- Teen drivers are more likely to overestimate their driving skills (especially males) and are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as speeding, racing, driving too closely, etc.
- The emotional state of a teen and peer pressure can greatly affect his/her driving.
- Teens who average less than 8 hours of sleep per night are twice as likely to fall asleep while driving than those who average 8 or more hours of sleep per night.
- Accidents involving teens occur more often in the summer months than in the winter months.
- Males have a higher percentage of crashing a vehicle than females.
- Rural areas have a higher rate of fatal crashes than metro areas.
- No matter how close to home a teen might be driving, an accident can always occur.
Consequences of Irresponsible Driving:
- Death, permanent disability or serious injury to you or someone else (including friends, loved ones or other drivers)
- Legal issues: tickets, being sued, being arrested (creating a record that will follow you forever)
- Loss of license
- Financial burdens for you or your parents (Increase in insurance costs, costs of any possible legal or medical fees, costs to repair or replace vehicles)
- Damage to/loss of property
What Parents Should Know:
- Parents are the most influential on teen drivers.
- Parents should review the state/county laws with their teens before allowing them to drive.
- Parents can't always know for sure that their teens are driving safely without them present.
- The brain's frontal lobe, linked to risk management, judgment & emotional regulation, can take up to 25 years to mature.
- Parents must evaluate whether their teens are responsible enough to drive or not.
- Does your teen respectfully follow rules at school and at home?
- Is your teen able to cope with frustrating situations calmly and make rational decisions?
- Does your teen understand the consequences of irresponsible driving/breaking the law?
- Does your teen understand the losses (financially & personally) that could occur with just one mistake?
- Parents should start teaching their children the fundamentals of safe driving even as young as 12 years old.
- Parents should help their teens prepare for various situations that could occur, such as:
- Bad/questionable weather (rain, fog, snow, ice, sun glare, etc.)
- Poor road conditions/construction zones
- Break downs
- Running out of gas
- What to do if he/she is in an accident
- Dealing with peer pressure
- Parents should also periodically quiz their teens to make sure they are always aware of the rules and consequences of driving.
Over the last five years in New York State
- 85 teens have died in car accidents in the North Country.
- 86 teens have died in car accidents in the Southern Tier.
- 97 teens have died in car accidents in the Capital Region.
- 106 teens have died in car accidents in Central New York.
- 112 teens have died in car accidents in the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region.
- 140 teens have died in car accidents in Western New York.
- 238 teens have died in car accidents in the Hudson Valley.
- 278 teens have did in car accidents in Long Island.
- 316 teens have died in car accidents in New York City.
- There are nearly 10 million licensed drivers in the U.S. under the age of 19. Over 400 thousand of them are licensed in New York State.
2006 New York State Vehicle Accidents [DOWNLOAD]