Informed Families Catalyst

Teens More Often Involved in Crashes

Posted by Informed Families on August 21, 2022 at 10:53 AM

As summer winds down and young people want to get in all the fun they can before school starts, they’ll be trying to cram in as much party time as possible in the next few weeks.


But according to AAA, new teen drivers ages 16-17 are nearly three times more likely than those 18 and older to become involved in fatal automobile crashes.

“They are younger, they aren’t paying attention, and they’re looking at the phone,” Mike Pike, attorney, and managing partner at Pike and Lustig, told WPTV recently.

And it’s more than that. A 2021 study by Zutobi Drivers Education found that only in Mexico, Qatar, and Latvia was it easier for drivers to be licensed than in the U.S., Newsweek reports.

American teen drivers simply aren’t getting the training that they receive in almost any other country in the world.

Why they’re more at risk

The organization reports the top three factors that commonly result in deadly crashes for teen drivers are:

Distraction plays a role in nearly six out of 10 teen crashes. The top distractions for teens include talking to other passengers in the vehicle and interacting with a smartphone.

Not buckling up. In 2015, the latest data available, 60 percent of teen drivers killed in a crash were not wearing a safety belt. 

Speeding is a factor in nearly 30 percent of fatal crashes involving teen drivers.

Parents must take charge

So it’s up to parents to ensure their teen drivers are safe on the road, according to AAA.

“Parents are the front line of defense for keeping our roads safer this summer,” says Jennifer Ryan, AAA Director of State Relations.

“It starts with educating teens about safety on the road and modeling good behavior, like staying off the phone and buckling our safety belt,” she explains.

To keep your kids safe on the road, AAA encourages parents to:

  • have conversations with your teens early and often about distraction and speeding
  • teach by example and minimize risky behavior when driving
  • make a parent-teen driving contract ( that sets family rules for teen drivers, including an agreement not to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or be a passenger in a car driven by someone using alcohol or drugs

AAA offers a variety of other tools for parents concerned about teen driver safety here. ( 

Topics: parenting, teenagers, children, car trips, teens

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We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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