Research suggests that the part of the brain responsible for decision making and impulse control does not fully mature until the mid-twenties.
Two-thirds of teens killed in crashes were not wearing seatbelts.
New drivers are less likely to be prepared to react to potential dangers.
Teens crash for many reasons, but data shows that this age group makes 9 common mistakes, sometimes in combination with each other, that can result in deadly consequences. These include:
Teens tend to overrate their own driving skills, believing that they will be able to handle risky situations. Driver error is a factor in 2/3 of fatal teen crashes.
Seat belt use among teens is the lowest of any age group. Six out of 10 drivers, aged 16-20, who were killed in crashes in the U.S. were not wearing seatbelts.
Teens state cell phone usage is their #1 distraction while driving. Using a cell phone when driving is AS dangerous as driving intoxicated.
Crash risks increase incrementally with each mile per hour driven over the speed limit. One-third of U.S. teen fatalities involve speeding.
Almost half of all traffic fatalities involving 16 to 24 year olds are alcohol-related. Driving while tired is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.
By carrying just one passenger the risk for a crash increases by 50 percent. With three or more passengers, the risk is nearly four times greater than while driving alone.
Teens are twice as likely to crash at night (9pm-6am) than during the day.
Crash rates for newly licensed drivers are highest during the first six months of driving. Lack of experience plays a key role in teen crashes.
Teens are more likely to drive old vehicles, and may be unaware of the importance of routine maintenance or unwilling to make necessary repairs.