All drivers face risks, but the factor that contributes most to crashes and deaths appears to be inexperience.1Newly licensed drivers, primarily teenagers, have the highest crash rates, but even drivers well into their twenties have higher crash rates than older drivers.
Risk factors for motor vehicle crashes that are particularly elevated among teenage drivers include:
Often, several of these risk factors are present: In particular, teens who text while driving are more likely to have other risky driving behaviors as well, compared to those who don't text while driving. These additional risk factors include drinking and driving and not using a seatbelt.8 In addition, young drivers who own their cars may take more risks. They are more likely to speed, especially at night, and have two or more teen passengers with them.6
A positive factor for teen drivers is the presence of an adult passenger. One study showed that teen crash rates were 75% lower when an adult was in the car.4
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