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Teenage Car Accidents and Driving Statistics


Car accidents involving teenage drivers have long been a significant concern for road safety experts and parents alike. With their newfound independence and excitement to hit the road, young drivers face unique challenges contributing to higher accident rates. 

If your teen gets into an accident, it is important to take the steps to protect their future and ability to collect compensation. An experienced car accident attorney can help you through this difficult time and ensure that insurance companies don’t take advantage of your teen driver by offering them too little. 

Teenage Car Accident Statistics

According to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teenage drivers continue to be involved in many car accidents. Traffic crashes are a prominent cause of death for teenagers aged 15 to 18, and 1.1 million teen accidents occurred in 2020 alone. 

  • In 2020, 1885 teenage drivers lost their lives in crashes. 
  • Teen drivers accounted for 8.5 percent of all fatalities, even though they only represented 5.1 percent of licensed drivers that year. 
  • Sadly, 52 percent of young drivers killed in accidents were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. 
  • Fatalities among young drivers surged by 17 percent.
  • Fatalities among the passengers of young drivers rose by 22 percent.
  • Occupant fatalities of other vehicles experienced an 8 percent increase.
  • Nonoccupant fatalities saw a 14 percent rise.
  • Overall, total fatalities in crashes involving young drivers increased by 15 percent.
  • 189,950 teen drivers were injured in a car accident that same year. 

Factors Contributing to Higher Accident Rates Among Teen Drivers


Teen drivers lack the experience that comes with years of driving, making them more susceptible to making critical errors on the road. This inexperience can lead to misjudging distances, misreading traffic situations, and reacting inappropriately to hazards.

Distracted Driving

The use of smartphones while driving is a significant cause of distracted driving among teenagers. Texting, browsing social media, making phone calls, and even using navigation apps can divert their attention from the road, leading to increased accident risk. Teenagers often need to stay connected with their friends through social media platforms. The fear of missing out (FOMO) and peer pressure can tempt them to check their notifications or respond to messages while driving, even though they know the risks.

Peer Pressure and Risky Behavior

Teenagers often succumb to peer pressure and engage in risky driving behaviors, such as speeding, aggressive driving, and not using seat belts. The desire to impress friends or fit into social norms can override their judgment and lead to dangerous choices on the road.

Lack of Seatbelt Usage

Despite the proven effectiveness of seat belts in preventing injuries and fatalities, some teenage drivers and passengers still neglect to use them consistently. Failing to buckle up significantly increases the risk of severe injury or death in the event of an accident.

Nighttime Driving

Teenagers are more likely to be involved in accidents during nighttime hours. Reduced visibility, fatigue, and potential exposure to impaired or reckless drivers contribute to the higher accident rates during this time.

Drunk Driving

Alcohol and drug use impair teenagers’ ability to make sound decisions and react quickly to road hazards. This increases the likelihood of accidents and reduces their ability to respond to unexpected situations. Teenagers are susceptible to peer pressure, and in social situations involving alcohol or drugs, they may be more likely to accept rides from impaired drivers or even attempt to drive themselves.

Consequences of Teenage Car Accidents

The impact of teenage car accidents extends far beyond the statistics. Lives are forever altered, families are devastated, and communities are affected. 

Teenage car accidents can result in many physical injuries, some of which can be severe and life-altering. Common injuries include:

  • Whiplash and neck injuries
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Burns
  • Disfigurement and amputation
  • Internal organ damage

The emotional toll of a car accident can be overwhelming for both the teens involved and their families. Some common psychological impacts include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Guilt and self-blame
  • Impact on family dynamics

Contact Our Law Firm Today

If your teenager is hurt in a car accident, your whole world gets turned upside down. You need to focus on them and their recovery during this time. Let us focus on the legal aspects of your teen’s case and on helping you secure justice for them.  At Colorado Accident Attorneys, our attorneys will put your teenager’s future first and do what’s best for them during this difficult time. 

To get started, call us at 303-567-7981 to set up a free consultation. We are located south of Denver in Greenwood Village and are here to help you explore your legal options. We are here to help you rebuild your family’s life after a devastating car crash. 

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