Some Statistics that You Should Know about Teen Drivers

The statistics available on teen motorists are both eye opening and sobering. Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of teens in the nation. New drivers are four times more likely to be killed and 14 times more likely to be injured than any other group. By a 2-to-1 margin, teens are more likely to kill someone with them than themselves.

The main causes of crashes amongst publicized teen fatalities were speed and inexperience. Alcohol, failure to wear a seat belt, and emotional distractions such as peer pressure and lack of sleep also often play parts in both fatal and non-fatal crashes. Passenger and time restrictions are in place to decrease the likelihood of youth being involved in vehicle crashes. This is why enforcement of these rules starts at home. You cannot rely on the police to be the sole protectors of children on the roadways. Parents and guardians must set and enforce the rules of the road.

Driver training starts much younger than 16. Children observe the driving habits of those around them early on and often put these practices into place when it is his or her turn to get behind the wheel. Set a strong example by being a responsible driver and reinforce good driving habits.

Parents/Guardians need to ensure that their teens are ready to meet this challenge through preparation and an open line of communication. No child under 18 can obtain a driver's license without their parents approval, so a parent should feel free to set a higher driving age if appropriate to the maturity and experience of each child.

Number of permits and licenses issued to teens 2005 through 2012:

Calendar Year Age at Permit Issue Total for Age by Year Age at License Issue Total for Age by Year
2005 16 65,090 16 41,445
17 7,624 17 15,490
18 7,272 18 9,609
19 4,961 19 4,435
2006 16 65,576 16 42,044
17 8,154 17 15,933
18 7,413 18 10,001
19 5,118 19 4,444
2007 16 58,905 16 40,503
17 7,574 17 16,358
18 7,025 18 10,432
19 4,916 19 4,511
2008 16 52,668 16 32,440
17 7,279 17 15,102
18 8,489 18 10,423
19 5,119 19 4,319
2009 16 53,442 16 31,656
17 9,463 17 17,047
18 9,465 18 11,301
19 5,760 19 4,877
2010 16 53,413 16 30,790
17 10,185 17 16,884
18 10,272 18 12,541
19 6,348 19 5,567
2011 16 53,374 16 30,886
17 9,845 17 15,753
18 10,373 18 12,365
19 6,775 19 5,864
2012 16 52,754 16 31,468
17 9,627 17 16,175
18 10,235 18 11,707
19 6,952 19 5,956

Statistics on certain Junior Operators Violations 2005 through 2012:

Calendar Year Violation Description Number Violations Percent Responsible Percent Not Responsible
2005 Passenger Restriction 1318 72% 27%
Time Restriction 122 6% 94%
2006 Passenger Restriction 1292 73% 26%
Time Restriction 2 50% 50%
2007 Passenger Restriction 1412 64% 34%
Time Restriction 185 72% 25%
2008 Passenger Restriction 980 59% 40%
Time Restriction 151 50% 48%
2009 Passenger Restriction 839 56% 42%
Time Restriction 121 53% 47%
2010 Passenger Restriction 915 57% 42%
Time Restriction 121 53% 46%
2011 Passenger Restriction 855 58% 39%
Time Restriction 117 55% 43%
2012 Passenger Restriction 751 51% 41%
Time Restriction 64 58% 41%

Young Driver Injuries by Age Group, MA Residents Ages 16-29, 2011

Age Group  (Years) Active Licenses  (N) Injury Counts (N) Rates per 10,000 Active MA Licenses
Deaths Hospital Stays ED Visits Total Injuries Death   Rate Hospital Stay Rate ED Visit Rate Total Injury Rate
16-17 51,070 2 41 942 985 0.4 8.0 184.5 192.9
18-20 187,903 14 139 3,295 3,448 0.7 7.4 175.4 183.5
21-22 152,124 14 126 2,537 2,677 0.9 8.3 166.8 176.0
23-24 162,781 14 83 2,438 2,535 0.9 5.1 149.8 155.7
25-29 417,679 17 176 5,355 5,548 0.4 4.2 128.2 132.8
credit to: "MA Department of Public Health Injury Surveillance Program"

Data Sources
Licenses - Shelly License Database Summary, 2011, MA Registry of Motor Vehicles. Includes all license classes, including motorcycle licenses. 
Deaths - NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) Query System, accessed 11/27/13. Includes deaths of MA licensed drivers only. Excludes motorcyclists. Data collected and reported by calendar year. 
Hospital Stays - MA Inpatient Hospital Discharge and Outpatient Observation Stay Databases, Center for Health Information and Analysis. Deaths and transfers are excluded. These data are collected and reported by fiscal year. Motorcyclists excluded. 
ED Visits - MA Emergency Department Discharge Database, Center for Health Information and Analysis. Deaths are excluded. These data are collected and reported by fiscal year. Motorcyclists excluded.


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