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The Facts About Teen Driving

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Car crashes caused by teen drivers are the #1 killer of teens in America today. As you read the statistics below, keep in mind the most telling statistic of all: according to a recent survey, 89 percent of teens said their parents have the biggest influence on how they drive. Click here for the facts. Teen Safe driving is an important cause at DCH Auto Group. We should all make an effort to keep teens safe while driving.

The Epidemic

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among American teenagers, killing between 5,000 and 6,000 teenagers every year.
  • No other kind of hazard comes close to claiming as many teenage lives, including homicides (13 percent) and suicides (11 percent). (2002 figures)

A Teenager's Odds

  • Teenage drivers account for 12.6 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes.
  • The fatal crash rates among 16- to 19-year-olds is four times that of older drivers
  • Risk is the highest at age 16, when the fatal crash rate is 40 percent higher than for 18 year-olds and 30 percent higher than for 19-year-olds.

The Enemies

Cell Phones
  • 56 percent of teens said they make and answer phone calls while driving.
  • 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.
  • 13 percent of teens said they send and respond to text messages while driving.
  • 17 percent of teens said speeding is fun.
  • 55 percent of teens said they exceed the speed limit by more than 10 mph.
  • 26 percent of self-identified "aggressive" teen drivers reported speeding by more than 20 mph over the limit.
  • 69 percent of teens who speed said they do so because they want to keep up with traffic.
 Peer Pressure
  • 44 percent of teens said they drive more safely without friends in the car.
  • 67 percent of teens said they have felt unsafe when someone else was driving.
  • Only 45 percent said they would definitely speak up if someone were driving in a way that scared them.
  • 37 percent said they would ride with one or more friends who speed in the coming year.

Statistics on teen views are from a recent Allstate Foundation survey.

The Allies

Seat Belts
  • Wearing lap/shoulder belts can reduce the risk of dying in a crash by 45 percent.
  • Teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use.
  • More than 40 percent of teen auto deaths occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Almost 60 percent of teens’ night time auto deaths occur before midnight.
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