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Almost Half of Teen* Drivers
Involved in Fatal Crashes Die

As you get ready to drive, prepare for a young person to drive, or if you have a teen driver in your life, think about and emphasize the importance of driving safely and the enormous responsibilities that driving entails.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14- to 18-year-olds in the United States. In 2011, 2,105 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes. Almost half (45%) of those teen drivers died in the crashes.

Obeying the law and practicing safe driving behaviors are essential. One-fifth (20%) of the teen drivers killed in fatal crashes in 2011 did not have a valid driver license—the most basic driving law—at the time of the crashes. Invest in your safety and your teens' safety by learning and teaching teens to always obey driving laws—including Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) restrictions—and reinforce these laws through your own family guidelines.

Teens learn from, and model their behavior after, their parents— including driving behavior. Novice drivers rarely crash while adults are supervising their driving. Unfortunately, the first six months of unsupervised driving are the most hazardous for novice drivers. Parents and teens must work together and commit to learning, practicing, and continuing safe and lawful driving behaviors.

*For this document, the term teen driver refers to drivers age 14 to 18. In 35 States a teen can obtain an unrestricted license before 18 with or without driver's education. In 25 States a teen who takes driver's education can get an unrestricted license at a younger age. Only a few States still allow 14-year-olds to have a license.

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