Report: Number of Teens in Fatal Crashes Plummets

Number of Teens Involved in Fatal Crashes Plummets

The number of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes fell by nearly a third between 2004 and 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported today.

The spread of graduated driver licensing, which is now used in 49 states, and increased parental involvement and awareness are reasons for the drop-off, the CDC says. The study tracked the number of 16- and 17-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes, which means either the teen driver, the driver's passengers or another third party was fatally hurt in an accident caused by the teen. The study shows a 36-percent decline in fatalities from 2004 to 2008.

That fact combines well with the overall long-term decrease in teen vehicular fatalities, which are down more than 50 percent since 1996.

Besides the graduated licenses and increased parental involvement, increased seat belt use and a strong government-led campaign against drunken driving also helped.

In 2009, 33,808 people were killed in vehicle accidents, the lowest level in 60 years, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 17 million American drivers admitted to drinking and driving.

Issues pertaining to teen drivers concern seat belt use — nearly 70% of the 13- to 15-year-olds killed in traffic accidents weren’t wearing seat belts, NHTSA says — as well as distracted driving. Nearly 18% of all teen crashes that resulted in a fatality were due to distracted driving, NHTSA says.

By Colin Bird | October 21, 2010 | Comments (5)



I wonder if another factor is the improved safety devices (airbags, etc) in the used cars the kids are probably driving? Would be interested to see how it trends with other populations...

I watched a tv show on the Discovery channel (I think) where an expert stated that the major cause of fatal accidents was speeding. For every mph faster you drive, you increase your chances of dying if you were to get in a fatal accident.

With teens I think a lot are just fearless and feel like they are invincible. I felt a lot like that when I was younger.

Ford has a system now on their cars called MYKEY that can limit a car's top speed and audio volume. A cool feature to have if you got kids.


Stop Drunk Driving Now's President and Founder, Ron Bellanti, gives high school students the cold hard facts on drunk driving. Ron is dedicated to helping teenagers realize the consequences of drunk driving and have them make the right decisions as well. Learn more about drunk driving prevention, statistics and how to get your school involved at

Recently, Ron spoke at Londonderry High School in Londonderry, New Hampshire educating students on the perils of drunk driving. Read more on what the Derry News thought of the drunk driving prevention event at

Derry Nh

Londonderry Nh News

A fatal traffic accident is a terrible experience for a family to endure, and over the past decade an average of 350 families per year have received the tragic news that their loved ones have been killed in a fatal traffic accident.

This is sad news. I think the increase is because kids these days are becoming more and more aggressive. Not to mention that most of them have cellphones that can cause distraction.

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