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What you pay for auto insurance is largely based on what kind of risk the company predicts you will be, based on known factors like your driving history, the kind of car you drive, your age and gender, your marital status and where you live.
Carole Walker, RMIIA

Teen Driving Statistics

National Teen Driving Statistics

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year olds, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. National studies of graduated licensing found that strong laws were associated with substantially lower fatal crash rates and substantially lower insurance claim rates among young teen drivers covered by the laws. Strong restrictions on nighttime driving and teen passengers, as well as raising the licensing age, reduced rates of fatal crashes and insurance collision claims.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

  • A total of 3,023 teenagers ages 13-19 died in motor vehicle crashes in 2011. This is 65 percent fewer than in 1975 and 3 percent fewer than in 2010.
  • About 2 out of every 3 teenagers killed in crashes in 2011 were males.
  • Teen drivers had crash rates 3 times those of drivers 20 and older in 2011.
  • In 2011, teenagers accounted for 10 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths. They comprised 11 percent of passenger vehicle (cars, pickups, SUVs, and vans) occupant deaths among all ages, 7 percent of pedestrian deaths, 3 percent of motorcyclist deaths, 10 percent of bicyclist deaths and 15 percent of all-terrain vehicle rider deaths.
  • Eighty percent of teenage motor vehicle crash deaths in 2011 were passenger vehicle occupants. The others were pedestrians (10 percent), motorcyclists (5 percent), bicyclists (2 percent), riders of all-terrain vehicles (2 percent) and people in other kinds of vehicles (2 percent).
  • Fifty-three percent of motor vehicle crash deaths among teenagers in 2011 occurred on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
  • Teenage motor vehicle crash deaths in 2011 occurred most frequently from 9 p.m. to midnight (16 percent) and midnight to 3 a.m. (16 percent).
  • In 2011, 59 percent of the deaths of teenage passengers in passenger vehicles occurred in vehicles driven by another teenager. Among deaths of passengers of all ages, 16 percent occurred when a teenager was driving.
  • In 2011, seatbelt use among fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers ages 16-19 (42 percent) was higher than among fatally injured drivers ages 20-29 (36 percent) but lower than among drivers 30 and older combined (49 percent). Among fatally injured 16-19 year-old occupants, belt use among passengers (32 percent) was considerably lower than among drivers (42 percent). Note that belt use among those fatally injured is not always accurately recorded, but it gives an indication of relative belt use rates in serious crashes by age group.
  • Among passenger vehicle drivers ages 16-19 involved in fatal crashes in 2011, 49 percent were involved in single-vehicle crashes.
  • In 2011, 11 percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the crash. Among the distracted drivers 15 to 19 years old, 21 percent were distracted by the use of cellphones at the time of the crash.
  • Thirty-two percent of drivers age 15 to 20 who were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2011 had been drinking some amount of alcohol; 26 percent were alcohol-impaired, which is defined by a BAC of 0.08 or higher.
  • In 2011, 39 percent of male drivers age 15 to 20 who were involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time of the crash; 37 percent of male drivers in the 21-to 24-year old age group involved in fatal crashes were speeding.
  • The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report in May 2012 that showed that the risk of 16- or 17-year old drivers being killed in a crash increases with each additional teenage passenger in the vehicle. The risk increases 44 percent with one passenger; it doubles with two passengers, and quadruples with three or more passengers. The study analyzed crash data and the number of miles driven by 16- and 17-year olds.

Colorado Teen Driving Statistics

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:

  • From 2004 to 2011, rates of motor vehicle crash deaths among 15- to 19-year-olds in Colorado dropped more than 67 percent. However, in 2012, Colorado experienced a 10 percent rise in teen fatalities from 2011.

    Target Group 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
    Motor vehicle traffic deaths
    ages 15-19 CO residents
    106 62 64 61 48 43 39 36 40
  • Inexperience was the contributing factor to approximately 12 percent of all teen crashes in 2011 in Colorado. This percentage remained the same whether there was an injury and fatality or not.
  • Teen drivers represent nearly 6% of licensed Colorado drivers, but they account for more than 11% of all traffic deaths in the state.

  • A 2013 survey of 738 parents of teens throughout Colorado showed only 6.4 percent of parents could accurately identify components of graduated drivers licensing laws, including curfews, passenger restrictions and seat belt requirements.
Additional Information