Published On: Mon, Mar 23rd, 2020

How Safe Are Teenage Drivers in 2020?

Parents that have teen drivers and are gasping for air at insurance rates should know that it’s because the rate of accidents is high for teens. Parents worry and they should. Insurance companies worry, too, and raise rates for drivers in these age groups, but who should really be worried? 

Other drivers on the road are the ones who need to worry and be exceptionally watchful. Teen drivers cause a lot of accidents and the only way to avoid accidents is to be a very defensive driver. Be prepared and if you are involved in accident, be prepared for what may happen then as well. 

photo/ Floris via pixabay

Teenage Drivers on The Road

Statistically speaking, teenage drivers are awful. There’s no easy way to put it. They are distracted easily, tend to text and mess with phones, radios, and be otherwise engaged with things other than the road in front of them. 


  • Teenagers aged 15-20 without driver education cause 90% of teen-related accidents.
  • Fatal crash rate (ages 16 to 19) across the US = 3x the rate for those over 20. 
  • Fatalities per mile driven is doubled for ages 16 and 17 compared to those aged 18 and 19.
  • Teen car accidents involve distraction related problems when turning left, cause rear-end crashes, and running off the road.
  • When a teen has a passenger in the car with them, the chance of fatal accidents is doubled. Two or more passengers, the chance of a crash is then 5x higher.
  • 20% of girls and 24% of boys, in their teens, say they were distracted before the accident.
  • In the first three months after they get their license, they are 9x more likely to crash compared to the time frame of three months of their learner’s permit.
  • Alcohol accounts for 15% of teen driving accidents. 
  • 20% of students admit to being in the car with a drinking driver.
  • Student drivers, in the last few months of learning permit driving, are as safe as other drivers. 
  • 48% of teen fatalities under age 19 are due to not wearing a seatbelt.
  • After they had their driver’s license, accident rates shoot up dramatically, even for girls. The girls begin to decline while the boys continue to rise. 

There are also many behavior patterns that are associated with teen driving accidents. Parents should try to address these with their teens prior to an accident happening. These include:


  • Speeding
  • Cell phone use/texting
  • Alcohol
  • Passengers in the car
  • Inexperience
  • Distractions
  • Late night driving

Ways to Help Lower Teen-Related Accidents and Deaths

  • Enroll in driver education program
  • Other forms of education
  • Law enforcement doing their job
  • No drinking and driving and emphasis by parents and community
  • Parents setting examples for children
  • No speeding (using devices to track the car while teen has it)

Using Programs and Tools

There are programs that are in place that you can download to phones to help track your teen, as well as the car speed and details of where they are at. This may seem like spying, which some parents feel is crossing a line. 

Law enforcement will tell you that this sort of spying might keep your teen alive. Teenagers, as a rule, don’t make good decisions. When there is peer pressure, teens often will do things that you’ve talked specifically about them not doing. It’s relatively normal. When parents have tracking tools, they should use them and not feel guilty about it. Keeping your child safe, as well as other drivers on the road, should be your primary focus.

Author: Biswajit Rakshit

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