Get the Facts About Sixteen and Seventeen Year-Old Drivers in New York State
- Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death involving teens.
- Every day, approximately 8 teen drivers in New York are treated at a hospital due to vehicle crashes. This number would fill close to 100 high school classrooms.
- Injuries to teen drivers result in $30 million in annual hospital charges in New York State.
Leading Causes of Death Among Teens Aged 16-17
|New York State, 2007
Leading Causes of Death - Teens Aged 16-17
|WISQARS™ - Data Source: National Center for Health Statisitics|
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death involving teens. During 2007, the motor vehicle crashes accounted for 29 percent of deaths among teens 16-17 years old.
Teen driving affects everyone!
Almost three-quarters of the crash deaths involving New York State teen drivers were to someone other than the driver.
Who is most at risk?
- Male drivers are more likely to be involved, seriously hurt, or fatally injured in a crash than their female counterparts.
- Newly licensed teens – the crash risk is particularly high during the first year of unsupervised driving.
What factors place teen drivers and their passengers at high risk for crashes?
- Driver inexperience. Teens are more likely to underestimate dangerous situations and less likely to recognize hazardous situations when driving.
- Risk taking. Teens are more likely to take risks while driving in response to their emotions, stress, and peer pressure. In addition, the use of alcohol and recreational drugs can impair driving ability.
- Driving conditions. Teens tend to drive more frequently under higher risk conditions, such as at night and/or without seatbelts increasing crash and injury risk.
- Driving distractions. The presence of teen passengers increases crash risk. This risk increases with the number of teen passengers riding in the vehicle. Almost one-half of the passengers killed or injured in crashes involving teen drivers were 16-17 years old, followed by children ages 7-15.
Leading Causes of Crashes
|New York State, 2007
Incapacitating & Fatal Injuries
|Crash Contributing Factors||Driver's Age|
|16-17 yrs||25-49 yrs|
|Driver at Fault||71.7%||52.0%|
|Failure to Yield Right of Way||16.6%||8.3%|
|* Driver Distraction includes the contributing factors of Driver Inattention/Distraction,
Passenger Distraction, Cell Phone (hand held), Cell Phone (hands-free), Other Electronic
Device and Outside Car Distraction.
- Teens are more likely to speed, drive distracted and allow shorter headways (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the back of the next) than older drivers.
- Every day, eight people are killed or seriously injured in crashes involving speeding or distracted teen drivers.
When do most serious crashes occur?
Almost 40% of fatal crashes involving teen drivers occur between 9 p.m.–Midnight and Noon–3 p.m.
Other Crash and Injury Risk Factors
Driving drowsy can be as dangerous as driving drunk. Every week, approximately three crashes occur involving fatigued teen drivers. More than 40% of all fall-asleep crashes were caused by drivers ages 25 years or younger.
Safety Belt Use
Every month, approximately 12 unrestrained 14-17 year-olds are killed or seriously injured in police-reported motor vehicle crashes in New York State. Unrestrained back seat teen passengers, ages 14-17, are four times more likely to be killed or seriously injured when riding with teen drivers ages 16-17, as compared to riding with adult drivers ages 25-49.
Graduated Drivers Licensing Laws (GDL)
|Hospitalizations of New York Teen Drivers*|
|17 Year Olds||63.4||59.8||61.5||68.7||55.8||53.1||48.7||52.8||38.3|
|16 Year Olds||25.7||27.5||27.4||27||18.2||22.1||14||15.1||12|
|* Rate per 100,000 Residents|
- Research suggests that comprehensive GDL dramatically reduce the number of fatal and injury crashes by 38% and 40%, respectively, among 16 year-old drivers.
- The yearly rate of hospitalizations for teen drivers ages 16-17 decreased nearly 50% between 2003, the year the NYS GDL was implemented, and 2008.
- Night-time driving restrictions imposed under the NYS GDL reduced injury rates by 40% for 16 year-old drivers involved in crashes which occurred between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. For more information about the NYS GDL system, go to www.dmv.ny.gov/youngerdriver.
- New York State Department of Health
- New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Keeping Young Drivers Safe
Contact InformationCenter for Environmental Health
Bureau of Occupational Health and Injury Prevention
Empire State Plaza-Corning Tower, Room 1325
Albany, New York 12237
(518) 402-7900 PHONE: (518) 473-1143
FAX: (518) 474-3067