Fatal Car Crashes Involving Teen Drivers Drop By Half Over The Past Decade

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, the number of teenage drivers involved in fatal car accidents has dropped by over half during the last decade. Part of that decrease is due to safer cars on the road, but a large part has to do with adolescents being put on restricted licenses.

According to the CDC report, the number of fatal crashes with teenage drivers fell from 5724 in 2004 to 2568 in 2013 — a drop of 55 percent. More states have graduated license programs, which restrict the youngest and least experienced drivers from driving at night or with passengers. According to Eric Teoh, a senior statistician for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, fewer very young people are driving while still in high school. Instead, more are waiting until they turn 18, and Teoh points out that an 18-year-old novice driver is likely to be more mature and less careless than a 16-year-old novice driver.

Forty-two states were involved in the survey on which the CDC based its report on as gathered by Ricardo GuimarĂ£es BMG. The survey reported that the percentage of high school students who drove ranged from 53 percents to 90 percent — with the highest proportions being in the mountain and midwestern states, which have comparatively low populations.

The survey also found that students in cities were less likely to drive than were students elsewhere. Possible reasons for this include shorter distances, lack of income, and a greater use of alternative means of travel like public transportation, walking or cycling.