Teen driving accidents are the leading cause of death among drivers aged 16 to 19 in the US as recorded in 2016 alone. Common contributing factors for casualties among teen drivers are inexperience, negligence, and impairment. With the legislation improvements towards safety driving in the last decade, all states saw the implementation of graduated licensing programs or laws reflecting some of its elements to lower vehicular accidents.
Teen Driving in Illinois
In 2007, the Illinois Department of Transportation reported 155 teenage fatalities from car accidents. In an effort to address driving risks and improve overall driving safety, the State implemented the Illinois Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program in January 2008.
Under the program, teenagers will undergo three phases before their full licensing, calling for parent or guardian participation as underscored in the Parent-Teen Driving Guide.
Teen Driving Accidents Statistics
Vehicular accidents involving drivers aged 16-19 accounted for 292,742 accidents and 2,433 fatalities in 2016. The death toll for male drivers in the same age group were two times higher than female drivers of the same category. Crash risks from teenage driving were also observed to increase with the presence of teenage passengers.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines teen driving incidents in 2016 as follows:
- 49% of the accidents happened between 3pm and 12am, 53% of which transpired on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday
- 32% of male drivers aged 15-20 who were involved in serious accidents were speeding; 21% of whom had been drinking
Causes of Teen Driving Accidents
Although accidents are highly preventable, there are six reported teenage casualties among 16-19-year olds daily due to vehicular crashes. Additionally, teenage drivers in this age group are three times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than drivers 20 and older.
In an effort to strengthen public awareness, the CDC outlines Eight Danger Zones or leading causes of teen driving accidents:
- Driver Inexperience
- Driving with Teenage Passengers
- Nighttime Driving
- Failure to Use Seatbelts
- Distracted Driving (mobile usage, eating, etc.)
- Drowsy Driving
- Reckless Driving
- Impaired Driving (drunk driving)
Teen Crash Deaths Dropping in Illinois
From 2007 to 2016, Illinois saw a 51% decrease in teenage driving fatalities. This decline was largely attributed to the implementation of the GDL. In addition, a recent study conducted ranked Illinois fourth best state for teenage drivers.