How to Drive a Car | Fatal Teen Crashes

Learn to Drive | Fatal Teen Crashes

For U.S. teens not fully experienced in how to drive a car, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death accounting for more than one in three deaths in this age group. 

Among teen drivers still learning how to drive a car, those at especially high risk of crashing are:

  • Males: From 2000 to 2006, the number of male drivers and passengers ages 15 to 19 who were killed in crashes was higher (12,479) than the number of female drivers and passengers who were killed (6,579).
  • Teens driving a car with teen passengers: Driving a car with teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers. This risk increases with the number of teen passengers.
  • Driving a car at night: The crash risk for teens driving a car at night is nearly twice as high as the crash risk during the day.
  • Newly licensed teens: Crash risk is highest during the first year that teens are eligible to drive.
  • Take Steps for Your Teen Driver's Safety

    How to Drive a Car | learning to drive a car | Experience
    Car Safely Also Requires Driving Experience

    Fortunately, there are proven ways to reduce teen drivers' risk on the roads until they have acquired the necessary experience in knowing how to drive a car safely. Graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems, combined with parental management, can help develop safe behaviour as the teen learn how to drive  a car. 

    If your teen is just learning to drive a car, keep the following in mind:

    • Proven Steps Save Lives. Practice driving a car as often as you can with your teen. The more experience he or she has behind the wheel as they learn how to drive a car, the safer they'll drive. Make sure your new driver and their passengers always wear seat belts. Prohibit driving a car when crashes are more likely to occur—at night and when there are other teens in the car, and enforce zero tolerance for alcohol and driving a car.  And be sure to learn and enforce your state's teen driving laws—you can find them on the State-Specific GDL Information page.
    • A Parent-Teen Driving Agreement Sets the Rules of the Road. Discuss your rules of the road with your teen. Talk about why they are important to follow, as well as consequences for breaking them. Believe it or not, your children listen to you, particularly when they know you have their best interests at heart. Reinforce your talks by working with your teen to create a parent-teen driving agreement.
    • Parents Must Lead by Example. Don't wait until your teen is old enough to drive to start modeling good driving behaviors. If you talk on the phone, text, speed, drive without your seat belt, or drive after drinking alcohol so might your teen.

     Click the link below to visit the CDC site:

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