Safety  1N Num3ersThe ProblemThe FactsWhat you can do

Take your teen
on many practice driving sessions.

Teach your teen
how to moderate speed for conditions.

Practice driving at
night, in inclement weather, and in many different traffic situations.

Keep a log in the car to track the actual hours and conditions.

Consider your State’s supervised driving recommendations as
the minimum.

More practice is
better.

What data tells us

  • In 2011, teens 14 to 18 represented 7 percent of the U.S. population. Many of these 21 million young people were preparing to drive or beginning their driving careers.
  • In 2011, 20 percent of 14- to 18-year olds died in motor vehicle crashes while driving with an invalid license.
  • Speeding was a factor in crashes for 35 percent of the teen drivers in fatal crashes in 2011.
  • Over half of the teen drivers of passenger vehicles who died were unrestrained.
  • One teen’s behavior can affect his peers’ behavior. When the teen driver in a fatal crash was unrestrained, almost four fifths of that driver’s teen passengers were unrestrained as well.
  • Although all States have Zero Tolerance Laws for drinking and driving under age 21, 505 people died in crashes in which 14- to
    18-year-old drivers had alcohol in their systems.
  • Twelve percent of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the crash. A total of 270 people died in these crashes.
  • Fatal teen driver crashes are most frequent between 3 and 8 p.m., but remain high until midnight.

What we know about licensing

  • GDL systems give novice drivers extended experience and protection by gradually introducing more challenging

driving conditions over time. A Fresh Look at Driver Education in America. Download Report

  • All States and the District of Columbia have three-stage GDL systems—largely focused on restricting travel times, numbers and ages of passengers, and potentially risky behaviors.
  • One NHTSA study found that a teenage driver was 2.5 times more likely to engage in potentially risky behaviors when driving with one teenage passenger and three times more likely with multiple teenage passengers. The Effect of Passengers on Teen Driver Behavior. Download Report
  • Licensing requirements for new drivers are more involved now than in years past. Many parents do not know the number of supervised driving hours required by their States, or that they may need to sign a form certifying that their teens obtained the required amount of practice. Role of Supervised Driving Requirements in Graduated Driver Licensing Programs. Download Report
  • Thirty-seven States and DC restrict hand-held phone use for novice drivers. Forty-seven States and DC ban texting while driving for novice drivers.
  • All States set 21 as the legal age for purchasing alcohol and make it illegal for drivers under age 21 to operate a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol.