Speaking on a mobile phone while driving increases crash risk by 2 times, while texting increases the crash risk by up to 6 times
Published: July 23, 2022
By: Courtesy of Zutobi Drivers Ed
A new report by Zutobi reveals how young driver-related fatalities have changed over time, the common causes of fatal teenage car crashes, which states have the most crashes, and how this problem can be solved.
- Kentucky has the most teenage driving fatalities in the country, with 71.45 deaths per 100,000 teenage drivers.
- Minnesota has the least teenage driving fatalities in the country, with 9.52 deaths per 100,000 adolescent drivers.
- The three main factors that put teens at risk are consumption of alcohol, speeding, and distracted driving.
- Speaking on a mobile phone while driving increases crash risk by 2 times, while texting increases the crash risk by up to 6 times.
- Young drivers’ consumption of alcohol remains a significant cause of teenage traffic fatalities, with 523 teen drivers killed in DUI crashes in 2020.
How big is the problem?
In 2020, almost 3,000 teens in the United States aged 15–20 were killed in motor vehicle crashes. That means that about eight teens die daily from motor vehicle crashes, and hundreds more are injured. In addition, motor vehicle crash deaths among teens 15–20 years of age resulted in about $4.8 billion in medical costs for crashes that occurred in 2018 (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)).
How young drivers’ fatalities have changed through the years?
- Traffic crashes have been the #1 teenage killer in the USA for years. The number of young driver and passenger fatalities has increased by 19.5% compared to the previous year.
- In 2020, the motor vehicle death rate for male drivers aged 15–20 was over two times higher than the death rate for female drivers of the same age.
- The presence of teen or young adult passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers. This risk increases with each additional teen or a young adult passenger.
The common causes of fatal teenage car crashes
Consumption of alcohol: Alcohol is completely banned for those under 21 years of age – despite this, young drivers’ consumption of alcohol remains a large cause of teenage traffic fatalities, with 523 teen drivers killed in DUI crashes in 2020.
Speeding: A recent study from GHSA found that from 2015 to 2019, teen drivers and passengers had a greater proportion of speeding-related fatalities (43%) than all other age groups (30%), with 4,930 teen drivers and passengers dying in speeding-related crashes.
Distracted driving: Speaking on a mobile phone while driving increases crash risk by 2 times, while texting increases the crash risk by up to 6 times.
The states with the most teenagers killed in traffic accidents
Kentucky has the most teenage driving fatalities in the country, with 71.45 deaths per 100,000 teenage drivers.
The second worst state is North Carolina (45.34), followed by Arkansas (45.12), Montana (44.08), Mississippi (41.89), New Mexico (40.86), Louisiana (35.22), Arizona (32.79), Texas (31.77), and Florida (31.11).
There are proven methods to help teens become safer drivers. For example, creating a proper foundation for driving at an early stage is pivotal in making safe drivers and reducing the number of teenagers killed in driving accidents.
“The goals for driver education classes are generally straightforward— to teach young people the rules of the road, the basic skills they need to control the car, and safe driving practices, such as defensive driving and risk assessment.”, says Leo Waldenback, co-founder of Zutobi.
“But we went further. We created the application that not only prepares our users for the DMV permit and driving test but develops that mindset, which will help dramatically reduce the likelihood of an accident, correctly obey the laws, and be a responsible driver.”
Most of the injury data has been gathered using the NHTSA crash data tool, and the Fatality and Injury Reporting System (FIRST). To find the number of licensed teen drivers, we looked at data from the Federal Highway Administration.
Data: You can find the full report here zutobi.com/us/driver-guides/teen-road-fatalities-report
Data tables of the states with the most teenagers killed in traffic accidents – here
About Zutobi: Zutobi is an easy and affordable online Driver Education resource that teaches new drivers everything there is about driving and driver safety. We want everyone to be safe on the roads, and the best way to do that is to make sure that everyone has access to quality driver’s education.
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