Teen Drivers at a Serious Risk: Some Statistics
October 9, 2006
We all know that fatal accidents involving teenage drivers is becoming a problem, but do we know exactly how much of a problem? It’s easy to ignore statistics, especially when we don’t know each individual that became a part of that statistic.
When fatal accidents happen in our community, and when we start attending the funerals of teenagers that we went to school with, then we start to see the problem. We should not be waiting until someone we know is killed to pay attention to the risk we teenage drivers pose to ourselves.
We could be the next statistic if we don’t pay attention NOW.
Here are some startling statistics offered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA. Remember, each of these numbers could have been someone you know: a close friend, classmate, sister, or brother.
- More than 68,000 teenagers have died in car accidents in the last ten years. Even scarier is that two thirds of those killed were teenage boys.
- In America, car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers. It seems so senseless, considering that a fatal accident is more easily prevented than cancer, suicide, murder, and other ways we teenagers can die.
- The fatality rate for teenage drivers is about four times higher than the rate for drivers that are 25 years and older. This is the reason it is clearly a matter of experience when it comes to the problem of fatal teenage accidents. Inexperienced drivers are at a higher risk.
- In 2001, almost 7,600 teenagers were involved in a fatal crash, 5,300 of those were killed, and two thirds of those killed were not wearing their seatbelt. If it’s not the law in your state to wear a safety belt, do it anyway!
- Finally, a staggering 65% of teenage passengers killed in car crashes, died while another teenager was driving.
One thing is clear: if you are a teenage driver, you are at a high risk of killing yourself, or someone you know, each time you get behind the wheel. Take the time to learn your vehicle, the rules of the road, and avoid carrying passengers until you can be sure you and your friends won’t become one of the statistics listed above.