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Facts and Figures


Motor vehicles crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Fortunately, teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable, and proven strategies can improve the safety of young drivers on the road.

Drivers age 16-19 are twice as likely to crash as those 20-24; three times as likely as those 25-29; and more than four times as likely as those 30-69. Among those 16-19 years old, the youngest drivers have the highest risk.

In Alabama, vehicular deaths account for almost half of preventable deaths for residents less than 18 years of age each year. "Driver inexperience" is cited as the cause in many of those deaths.

Factors that Contribute to Death

In addition to the three primary factors in teen driver deaths, other factors which contribute to teen driver crashes, injuries, and fatalities include:

  • Driver inexperience - this amplifies the effects of most other factors
  • Speeding
  • Aggressive and/or reckless driving
  • Nighttime driving
  • Unlicensed and underage driving
  • Unsafe vehicles/equipment

Additional Statistics

  • In 2016, there were 2,288 motor vehicle traffic fatalities in crashes that involved passenger vehicle teen drivers aged 15 to 18 years old.
  • In 2016, there were 2,082 teen drivers of passenger vehicles involved in fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes.
  • In 2016, 58% of all passenger fatalities of 15- to 18-year-old passenger vehicle drivers were unrestrained.
  • In 2016, speeding was a factor in 31% of the teen drivers involved in fatal crashes.
  • In 2016, almost 20% of the teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were drinking.
  • In 2016, 10% of fatal crashes involved a teen driver distracted at the time of the crash.

Page last updated: May 13, 2021