Saving Teenage Lives

Appendix C

Teen Crash Statistics

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for American teenagers.
  • In 1997, 5,477 young people (passengers and drivers age 15-20) died in motor vehicle crashes. Twenty-one percent of the young drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking.
  • Young people age 15-20 make up 6.7 percent of the total driving population in this country but are involved in 14 percent of all fatal crashes.
  • In 1997, over 60 percent of youth (16-20) who died in passenger vehicle crashes were not wearing seat belts.
  • In 1997, almost one quarter (22 percent) of those who died in speed-related crashes were youth (15-20).
  • In the last decade, over 68,000 teens have died in car crashes.
  • Sixty-five percent of teen passenger deaths occur when another teenager is driving.
  • Nearly half of the fatal crashes involving 16-year-old drivers were single vehicle crashes.
  • Forty-one percent of fatal crashes involving teenagers occur at nighttime (between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.).
  • One quarter of fatally injured teen drivers (16-20 years old) in 1995 had a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) at or above .10 percent, even though all were under the minimum legal drinking age and are not legally permitted to purchase alcohol.
  • Two out of three teenagers killed in motor vehicle crashes are males.

The Teenages in the car.