Teen car accident statistics are alarmingly high, but you can still teach your teen to drive safe. Read on for our breakdown of the data and how you can help.
Did you know that last year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that roughly 2,000 teenagers died in car accidents? While these types of teen car accident statistics can be disturbing, they’re also an important reminder that inexperienced drivers are prone to accidents.
So what can you do to protect your kid from a car crash? Knowing the facts about what often causes these accidents is a great place to start.
From there you can begin teaching your teen how to avoid them. Luckily, we’ve assembled a helpful guide of statistics that show the blind spots when it comes to teenage driving. Let’s get started!
How Many Teenagers Are Injured in Car Accidents?
As we mentioned before, around 2,000 teens die from car accidents every year. But exactly how many are injured from the accidents?
The Center for Disease Control and Planning found that roughly 300,000 emergency room visits reported were for teens injured in a car accident. To put that in perspective that’s nearly 6 deaths per day and hundreds of injuries.
The personal toll of these injuries depends on the severity of the crash. Some teen drivers may escape with bruised or fractured limbs, while others may be permanently paralyzed. However, one thing is for sure — regardless of the personal cost, the monetary cost is enormous.
The same CDC report found that the cost of treating motor vehicle-related injuries in young people ages 15 to 19 reached astronomical levels at $13.1 billion.
Unfortunately, many families are unprepared to shoulder these expensive hospital bills, so one unlucky injury can become a one-way ticket to serious debt.
What Are Some of the Causes of Crashes: Teen Car Accident Statistics
Sometimes teen car accidents can be the fault of the other driver. However, as many of the statistics in the previous section show the accidents are often caused by reckless driving behavior exhibited by young people. These types of behavior include things like:
Phone Use While Driving
Most people know that using their phones while driving isn’t a good idea, but they do still do it regardless. For teenagers with pressing social lives the temptation to check a text or voicemail is even greater.
Yet the NHTSA found that talking on your cell phone increases the risk of a car accident by six times. Texting is even worse — it increases the likelihood of a crash by twenty-three times.
Many teens aren’t used to the exhilaration of driving fast for the first time. As a result, they often drive at dangerous speeds that can endanger those around them. Why is this?
As the CDC reports, “teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and allow shorter headways (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the front of the next).” As a result, they not only endanger their own life by driving fast but also the lives of others.
It’s a fact of life that teens will most likely be exposed to alcohol before they’re twenty-one years of age.
Unfortunately, because alcohol can give a sense of false confidence, many teens believe they’re fine to get behind the wheel when they drink. This type of behavior can often be incredibly deadly. The NHTSA found that 24% of teenagers who die in car crashes have BACs levels of .01 g/dL or higher.
Inexperience Driving in New Areas
The first year that a teenager drive is their most dangerous year. The CDC found that 16-year-olds are 1.5 times more likely to crash when compared to 18 and 19-year-olds.
Why is this?
Often first-time drivers are still getting used to the area they’re driving in. As such, problem areas like a new highway or a busy city street are prime spots for car accidents.
Driving With Multiple People in the Car
Cell phones, eating or putting on makeup while driving aren’t the only things that can cause accidents — other people can too. The risk of an accident increases significantly when your child has multiple teenage passengers in the vehicle.
Why? Often conversations or loud music can from these passengers draw their attention away from other vehicles or potential threats on the road.
How Can You Prevent Your Teenager From Getting in Accidents
As we can see from the statistic in the last section, certain behaviors can dramatically increase the likelihood of a crash. Teaching your children that these behaviors are unacceptable is the first step to reducing the likelihood of a car accident. We recommend things like:
- Make wearing a seatbelt mandatory
- Telling them no phone use while driving
- Encouraging them not to drink and drive (call an Uber if they have to)
- Obeying the speed limit
If you find that your teen breaks any of these rules, then you should discipline them accordingly. We also recommend not being hypocritical. For example, don’t tell your child not to use their cell phone, and then talk on the phone while you drive.
This type of behavior will send them the wrong message. You should also closely follow your state’s Graduated Driving License law.
These types of laws usually include things like the time of day your teen can drive, the number of passengers they can have in the vehicle, and the number of hours behind the wheel they need before they can be considered a competent driver.
Preparing Your Child Today Can Help Save a Life Tomorrow
We hope some of these teen car accident statistics helped convince you of the importance of preparing your child for the road early on. Often good fundamentals are the only way to develop dependable driving habits.
This means that parents need to spend a lot of time in the passenger seat while their child drives. While it might seem tedious, it’s vital for your child to learn with you by their side.
This type of hands-on learning allows you to educate your teen on the practical rules of the road. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start practicing with your child today!