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Facts on Young Drivers

Crashes are the leading cause of death among teens.

Source: National Safety Council:

* Traffic crashes are the number one cause of death among children and young adults.

* More than 3,800 young drivers age 15-20 are killed every year in traffic crashes. More than 326,000 young drivers are injured.

* Young drivers are involved in fatal traffic crashes at over twice the rate as the rest of the population.

* Exceeding the posted speed limit or driving at an unsafe speed is the most common error in fatal accidents.

* About 30 percent of crashes killing young drivers involve alcohol.

* More than 1,000 young drivers lose their lives every year in crashes because of an impaired driver … be it themselves, or someone else.

* It is illegal in every state for a person under 21 to buy and/or possess alcoholic beverages.

* All states and Washington, D.C. have zero tolerance laws. It is illegal for a minor (under 21) to purchase alcohol, so no amount of alcohol should be allowed in an underage driver. Zero tolerance blood alcohol limits are typically set between .00 and .02 per se as opposed to .08 or .10 for drivers 21 and older. This means that regardless of outward signs of intoxication, any amount of alcohol detected in the driver under 21 determines legal intoxication.

Source: National Highway Transportation Safety Administration:

* In 1997, 5,477 young people (passengers and drivers age 15-20) died in motor vehicle crashes. Twenty-one percent of the young drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking.

* In 1997, more than 60 percent of youth (16-20) who died in passenger vehicle crashes were not wearing seat belts.

* In 1997, almost one quarter (22 percent) of those who died in speed-related crashes were youth (15-20).

* In the last decade, over 68,000 teens have died in car crashes.

* Sixty-five percent of teen passenger deaths occur when another teenager is driving.

* Nearly half of the fatal crashes involving 16-year-old drivers were single vehicle crashes.

* Forty-one percent of fatal crashes involving teenagers occur at nighttime between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

* One quarter of fatally injured teen drivers (16-20 years old) in 1995 had a blood alcohol concentration at or above .10 percent, even though all were under the minimum legal drinking age and are not legally permitted to purchase alcohol.

* Two out of three teenagers killed in motor vehicle crashes are males.

Source: National Transportation Safety Board :

* More teenagers die in traffic crashes than from any other cause.

* Teen drivers represent less than seven percent of the driving population but account for more than 14 percent of the drivers involved in all deadly crashes.

* More than 22 percent of all highway fatalities occur in crashes involving teenage drivers.

* Two-thirds of the passengers killed in teen driver crashes are teenagers themselves.

* Deaths and serious injuries from traffic crashes can be reduced by as much as 58 percent by the implementation of Graduated Driver's Licensing provisions.