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Teen Driving: 16 Not-So-Sweet Stats

October 19, 2016 Austin Injury Lawyer


Today’s teen tendencies can be easy to list off — hashtags, selfies, snapchats, loving Taylor Swift, hating Taylor Swift, loving to hate Taylor Swift. Teen trends have shifted over the years, but the essence of what it means to be a teenager has not. There are humorous effects of the wild and reckless spirits in this age group. But there are also serious consequences that everyone must pay attention to.

Teens are already at a greater risk for a fatal vehicle accident. But another, easily controlled factor is involved in exponentially increasing the risk of a fatal crash. Teens driving with young passengers, including siblings, are 44 percent more likely to be involved in a fatal crash. Young passengers easily distract inexperienced drivers which leads to these traumatic collisions.


McMinn Injury Lawyers Work With Teens and Families After Serious Crashes

This summer, McMinn Law Firm negotiated a settlement for an Elgin teen after a traumatic car accident injury. The teen was a passenger in a car driven by friends when the car flipped, causing a collarbone injury that required medical care. Of all teen passengers who died in car crashes in 2013, 52% occurred when another teen was driving. Our Elgin teen was lucky to come out alive.

Parents can teach their children a number of safe driving habits. Parents can’t prepare their new drivers for all forms of distracted passenger driving. What they can do is encourage their kids to stick to the 6-month suggested wait time before adding additional passengers to the vehicle. Keep the focus on the road, save the socializing for the destination.


Car Crashes are the Leading Cause of Death for U.S. Teens

Teens are three times more likely than other age groups to be involved in a fatal car crash. And because of their incredibly social nature, teens are more likely to be riding along with passengers in tow. This means not only is the teen driver at risk, but the lives of many others are, as well.

Set Ground Rules: Teen Drivers and Boundaries

Innovations in car safety, road design, and education initiatives have largely reduced teen driver fatalities over the years. When teens are instructed at school, in driver’s ed and in after school programs about distracted driving, reckless behavior and drinking, sitting down for a talk about boundaries might win a few eye rolls. But here’s a few tips to make sure your teens don’t fall on the wrong side of the statistic.

  • Start the conversation younger than you think necessary.
  • Set boundaries. Let your teen know exactly when they will be permitted to drive and where they will be allowed to go. Talk to your teen about distracted driving, and take action to show your kids you also have safe driving behaviors. Encourage the whole family to turn off the cell phone while in the car. Make sure your teen leaves enough time to get to school on time without speeding.
  • Make it official – a written agreement will be more memorable. Outline the consequences for breaking a driving curfew or traveling outside boundaries.


Sixteen Shocking Statistics

  • 52 — Percent of teen passenger car crash deaths when another teen was driving (2013)
  • 3 — Times more likely a teen is to be in a fatal car crash than drivers 20+
  • 292,000 — Number of teens treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor-vehicle crashes
  • 78 — Percent of teenagers involved in a crash who were actually in a vehicle(2013)
  • 7 — Number of teens who die everyday from motor vehicle injuries
  • 44 — Percent a teen driver’s crash risk increases with even just one other teen passenger
  • 1 — Number of months after receiving license where teen crash risk is particularly high
  • 2,524 — Number of teenagers ages 13-19 who died in motor vehicle crashes (2013)
  • 66 — Percent of teenagers killed in crashes who are males (2013)
  • 6 — Number of suggested months teens should wait after getting their licenses before adding another passenger to the car
  • 56 — Percent of teen crash fatalities where the driver was killed (2013)
  • 50 — Percent of teens that will be involved in a car crash before graduating high school
  • 53 — Percent of teen drivers killed in crashes who were not wearing their seat belts (2013)
  • 80 — Percent of seat belt use among all teens and young adults
  • 34 — Percent of seat belt use among fatally injured teen passengers
  • 47 — Percent of fatal teen crashes that were single-vehicle crashes

If you have been impacted by a car accident involving a teen driver, consider contacting a lawyer to help with the many questions and negotiations you’ll be faced with afterward. Jason McMinn and Justin McMinn are happy to evaluate your case quickly and without cost. Call us at 512-474-0222, use the live chat on our website, fill out the form on this page, or email

Centers for Disease Control Teen Driver Fact Sheet
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

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