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Teen Highway Safety

Novice teen drivers are twice as likely as adult drivers to be in a fatal crash. Despite a 46-percent decline in driver fatalities of 15- to 18-year-olds between 2007 and 2016, teens are still significantly over-represented in fatal crashes.

Research from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) tells us that immaturity and inexperience are primary factors contributing to these deadly crashes. Both lead to high-risk behavior behind the wheel: driving at nighttime, driving after drinking any amount of alcohol, and driving distracted by passengers and electronic devices.

Teens may see a driver’s license as a step toward freedom, but teens aren’t ready to have the same level of driving responsibility as adults. Teen drivers have a higher rate of fatal crashes, mainly because of their immaturity, lack of skills, and lack of experience. They speed, they make mistakes, and they get distracted easily – especially if their friends are in the car

Did you know ?



  • 56% of teens said they talk on the phone while driving.
  • Over 50% of 16-18 year olds in fatal auto crashes were unbelted.
  • Speeding is a critical safety issue for teen drivers. In 2016, it was a factor in 32% of the fatal crashes that involved teen drivers

Delayed Brain Development


What do teen drivers, older drivers, and distracted drivers all have in common? The answer is “the brain.” And understanding the brain is the key to knowing why we get into car crashes and how to prevent these crashes.


Lack of Preparation

For a lot of teenagers, getting a driver’s license when they turn 17 or even 18 has become much more common. And recent studies show they have a few reasons to put off getting their license.


one in three teens no license

Perception of Being Invincible/Risk-taking

The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16-19-year-olds than among any other age group. In fact, per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.