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Type, size, and age of vehicles driven by teenage drivers killed in crashes during 2008-2012

McCartt, Anne T.; Teoh, Eric R.
Injury Prevention
April 2015

Given teenagers’ elevated crash rates, it is especially important that their vehicles have key safety features and good crash protection. A profile of vehicles driven by teenagers killed in crashes was developed. Data on vehicles of drivers ages 15–17 and ages 35–50 who died in crashes during 2008–2012 were obtained from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Using vehicle identification numbers, the vehicle make, model and model year were identified. 29% of fatally injured teenagers were driving mini or small cars, 82% were driving vehicles at least 6 years old, and 48% were driving vehicles at least 11 years old. Compared with middle-aged drivers, teenagers’ vehicles more often were small or mini cars or older vehicles. Few teenagers’ vehicles had electronic stability control or side airbags as standard features. Parents should consider safety when choosing vehicles for their teenagers.