Teenagers | 2008

In every motorized country, teenage drivers represent a major hazard. In the United States, teenagers drive less than all but the oldest people, but their numbers of crashes and crash deaths are disproportionately high. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 2008. [Unpublished analysis of data from the US Department of Transportation's National Household Travel Survey, General Estimates System, and Fatality Analysis Reporting System]. Arlington, VA. In the United States, the crash rate per mile driven for 16-19 year-olds is 4 times the risk for older drivers. Risk is highest at age 16. In fact, the crash rate per mile driven is twice as high for 16 year-olds as it is for 18-19 year-olds.

Until the mid 1990s, most U.S. states allowed teens to get full-privilege licenses at an earlier age than in most other countries, and little driving experience typically was required prior to licensure. The result was greatly elevated crash risk among young drivers. As more and more states have adopted graduated licensing systems, which phase in full driving privileges, the crash rates in these states have declined about 10-30 percent. Ulmer, R.G.; Preusser, D.F.; Williams, A.F.; Ferguson, S.A.; and Farmer, C.M. 2000. Effect of Florida's graduated licensing program on the crash rate of teenage drivers. Accident Analysis and Prevention 32:527-32. Shope, J.T. and Molnar, L.J. 2004. Michigan's graduated driver licensing program: evaluation of the first four years. Journal of Safety and Research 35:337-44. Foss, R.D.; Feaganes, J.R.; and Rodgman, E.A. 2001. Initial effects of graduated driver licensing on 16-year-old driver crashes in North Carolina. Journal of the American Medical Association 286:1588-92. Governor's Highway Safety Office. 2001. Review of Ohio's graduated driver license program. Columbus, OH: Ohio Department of Public Safety. Mayhew, D.R.; Simpson, H.M.; Des Groseilliers, M.; and Williams, A.F. 2001. Impact of the graduated driver licensing program in Nova Scotia. Journal of Crash Prevention and Injury Control 2:179-92. Zhu, M.; Chu, H.; and Li, G. 2009. Effects of graduated driver licensing on licensure and traffic injury rates in upstate New York. Accident Analysis and Prevention 41:531-35. Hallmark, S.L.; Veneziano, D.A.; Falb, S.; Pawlovich, M.; and Witt, D. 2008. Evaluation of Iowa's graduated driver's licensing program. Accident Analysis and Prevention 40:1401-05. A national study of graduated licensing laws found that laws the Institute rated good were associated with substantially lower fatal crash rates among teen drivers, and substantially lower insurance claim rates, than laws rated poor. Strong restrictions on nighttime and teen passengers, as well as delayed licensing age, also reduced rates of fatal crashes and insurance collision claims. McCartt, A.T.; Toeh, E.R.; Fields, M.; Braitman, K.A.; and Hellinga, L.A. 2009. Graduated licensing laws and fatal crashes of teenage drivers: a national study. Arlington, VA: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Trempel, R.E. 2009. Graduated driver licensing laws and insurance collision claim frequencies of teenage drivers. Arlington, VA: Highway Loss Data Institute. Crash rates for young drivers are high largely because of their immaturity combined with driving inexperience. The immaturity is apparent in young drivers' risky driving practices such as speeding and tailgating. At the same time, teenagers' lack of experience behind the wheel makes it difficult for them to recognize and respond to hazards. Fatal crashes involving young drivers typically are single-vehicle crashes and often involve driver error and/or speeding. They often occur when other young people are in the vehicle with the young driver, so teenagers are disproportionately involved in crashes as passengers as well as drivers. Chen, L-H.; Baker, S.P.; Braver, E.R.; and Li, G. 2000. Carrying passengers as a risk factor for crashes fatal to 16- and 17-year-old drivers. Journal of the American Medical Association 283:1578-82.

The following facts are based on analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

Trends

A total of 4,054 teenagers ages 13-19 died in motor vehicle crashes in 2008. This is 54 percent fewer than in 1975 and 19 percent fewer than in 2007. About 2 out of every 3 teenagers killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2008 were males. Since 1975 teenage motor vehicle crash deaths have decreased more among males (59 percent) than among females (38 percent).

Teenage motor vehicle deaths by gender, 1975-2008

Motor vehicle crash deaths among 13-19 year-olds by gender, 1975-2008
Year Male Female Total*
Num % Num % Num
1975 6,532 75 2,215 25 8,748
1976 6,826 73 2,530 27 9,356
1977 6,983 72 2,650 28 9,633
1978 7,295 73 2,645 27 9,940
1979 7,280 73 2,639 27 9,920
1980 6,932 73 2,591 27 9,524
1981 6,014 72 2,301 28 8,315
1982 5,354 73 1,969 27 7,323
1983 4,850 71 1,955 29 6,805
1984 4,947 71 2,005 29 6,952
1985 4,715 70 2,022 30 6,737
1986 5,280 71 2,182 29 7,466
1987 5,107 70 2,186 30 7,293
1988 5,036 70 2,204 30 7,242
1989 4,528 68 2,158 32 6,688
1990 4,420 69 1,944 31 6,364
1991 3,891 68 1,867 32 5,760
1992 3,495 67 1,713 33 5,215
1993 3,678 68 1,742 32 5,421
1994 3,770 67 1,859 33 5,632
1995 3,702 65 1,970 35 5,675
1996 3,855 66 1,963 34 5,819
1997 3,715 65 2,014 35 5,730
1998 3,649 65 1,960 35 5,610
1999 3,745 65 2,007 35 5,752
2000 3,759 66 1,925 34 5,685
2001 3,735 67 1,859 33 5,594
2002 3,939 66 2,015 34 5,954
2003 3,772 66 1,946 34 5,718
2004 3,696 65 1,948 35 5,645
2005 3,496 66 1,803 34 5,300
2006 3,415 66 1,744 34 5,159
2007 3,280 66 1,701 34 4,981
2008 2,681 66 1,370 34 4,054
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Teenagers accounted for 10 percent of the US population in 2008 and 11 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths. They comprised 13 percent of passenger vehicle (cars, pickups, SUVs, and vans) occupant deaths among all ages, 7 percent of pedestrian deaths, 4 percent of motorcyclist deaths, 11 percent of bicyclist deaths, and 22 percent of all-terrain vehicle rider deaths.

US teenage and total population, 2008
Teen population Total population % Teens of total population
29,710,307 304,059,724 10
Teenage motor vehicle crash deaths as percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths, 2008
Death type Teen motor
vehicle deaths
Motor vehicle deaths
for all ages
% teen deaths
of all motor vehicle deaths
Passenger vehicle occupant 3,269 25,428 13
Pedestrian 318 4,378 7
Motorcyclist 225 5,091 4
Bicyclist 78 714 11
All-terrain vehicle riders 83 375 22
Other 81 1,275 6
Total* 4,054 37,261 63
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Eighty-one percent of teenage motor vehicle crash deaths in 2008 were passenger vehicle occupants. The others were pedestrians (8 percent), motorcyclists (6 percent), bicyclists (2 percent), riders of all-terrain vehicles (2 percent), and people in other kinds of vehicles (2 percent).

Teenage motor vehicle crash deaths by type and age, 2008
Age Passenger vehicle occupants Motorcyclists Pedestrians Bicyclists All-terrain
vehicle riders
Other Total motor vehicle deaths*
Num % Num % Num % Num % Num % Num % Num
13 59 55 2 2 24 22 8 7 8 7 7 6 108
14 120 62 9 5 30 15 15 8 10 5 10 5 194
15 196 69 7 2 46 16 14 5 14 5 9 3 286
16 460 83 17 3 39 7 6 1 19 3 14 3 555
17 645 85 32 4 47 6 10 1 10 1 11 1 755
18 928 85 63 6 62 6 17 2 9 1 8 1 1,087
19 861 81 95 9 70 7 8 1 13 1 22 2 1,069
Total 3,269 81 225 6 318 8 78 2 83 2 81 2 4,054
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

In 2006, the latest year for which data are available, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death among 13-19 year-old males and females in the United States. Thirty-three percent of deaths among 13-19 year-olds occurred in motor vehicle crashes, 39 percent among females and 31 percent among males.

Leading causes of death among teenagers by gender, 2006
Cause of death Male Female Total
Motor vehicles 3,415 1,744 5,159
Homicide 2,106 337 2,443
Suicide 1,370 348 1,718
Malignant neoplasms 515 345 860
Motor vehicle crash deaths as a percent of deaths from all causes by gender and age, 2006
Age Male Female Total*
MV deaths All deaths % MV deaths All deaths % MV deaths All deaths %
< 5 294 18,521 2 285 14,637 2 579 33,158 2
5-9 292 1,551 19 227 1,184 19 519 2,735 19
10-12 171 969 18 161 695 23 332 1,664 20
13-15 453 2,044 22 294 1,120 26 747 3,164 24
16-17 1,090 3,405 32 685 1,471 47 1,775 4,876 36
18-19 1,872 5,574 34 765 1,875 41 2,637 7,449 35
20-24 4,577 16,152 28 1,380 4,996 28 5,957 21,148 28
25-29 3,118 15,181 21 924 5,716 16 4,042 20,897 19
30-59 13,180 263,702 5 5,000 159,480 3 18,182 423,182 4
60-69 2,097 186,335 1 1,096 133,896 1 3,194 320,231 1
≥ 70 2,627 688,508 < 1 2,007 899,252 < 1 4,636 1,587,760 < 1
*Total includes other and/or unknowns
NOTE: Data on motor vehicle crashes come from FARS.
Data on other causes of death come from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC)

Drivers and passengers in passenger vehicles

In 2008, 60 percent of deaths among passenger vehicle occupants ages 16-19 were drivers.

Passenger vehicle teenage occupant deaths by age and seating position, 2008
Age Driver Passenger Total*
Num % Num % Num
13 3 5 56 95 59
14 10 8 110 92 120
15 34 17 162 83 196
16 230 50 229 50 460
17 347 54 294 46 645
18 590 64 332 36 928
19 577 67 281 33 861
Total 1,791 55 1,464 45 3,269
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Sixty-three percent of teenage passenger deaths in 2008 occurred in vehicles driven by another teenager. Among deaths of passengers of all ages, 19 percent occurred when a teenager was driving.

Passenger vehicle passenger deaths by passenger age and driver age, 2008
Passenger age Driver age All ages*
13-19 20-24 25-29 30-59 60-69 ≥ 70
Num % Num % Num % Num % Num % Num % Num
< 13 55 8 101 15 153 22 356 51 19 3 9 1 696
13-19 921 63 255 17 72 5 191 13 14 1 4 < 1 1,464
20-24 183 17 519 49 179 17 164 15 5 < 1 3 < 1 1,066
25-29 56 8 172 26 216 32 205 31 4 1 3 < 1 666
30-59 102 5 197 10 232 12 1,204 62 120 6 54 3 1,931
60-69 10 3 12 3 11 3 150 39 147 38 53 14 386
≥ 70 11 1 16 2 11 1 270 29 134 14 495 53 941
All ages* 1,339 19 1,276 18 877 12 2,548 36 445 6 623 9 7,174
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

In 2008, belt use among fatally injured drivers ages 16-19 (41 percent) was higher than among fatally injured drivers ages 20-29 (34 percent) but lower than among drivers 30 and older combined (46 percent). Among fatally injured 16-19 year-old occupants, belt use among passengers (32 percent) was considerably lower than among drivers (41 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.

Seat belt use among fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants by age and seating position, 2008
Age Passengers Drivers
Belt used Unbelted Unknown Belt used Unbelted Unknown
Num % Num % Num % Num % Num % Num %
13 21 38 34 61 1 2 0 0 3 100 0 0
14 32 29 65 59 13 12 1 10 8 80 1 10
15 34 21 112 69 16 10 16 47 17 50 1 3
16 74 32 135 59 20 9 110 48 107 47 13 6
17 105 36 165 56 24 8 154 44 176 51 17 5
18 94 28 203 61 35 11 243 41 305 52 42 7
19 86 31 163 58 32 11 210 36 318 55 49 8
20-24 299 28 676 63 91 9 936 36 1,480 56 216 8
25-29 183 27 437 66 46 7 626 32 1,179 60 148 8
30-59 689 36 1,103 57 139 7 3,099 40 4,122 53 526 7
60-69 232 60 139 36 15 4 867 53 653 40 102 6
≥ 70 676 72 224 24 41 4 1,493 61 766 31 181 7
Total* 2,884 40 3,729 52 531 7 7,757 43 9,143 50 1,301 7
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Among passenger vehicle drivers ages 16-19 involved in fatal crashes in 2008, 49 percent were involved in single-vehicle crashes. This was the same for drivers ages 20-24 (49 percent) but higher than for drivers ages 25 and older (38 percent).

Passenger vehicle drivers in fatal crashes by age and crash type, 2008
  Single vehicle Multiple vehicle All crashes *
Num % Num % Num
16-19 1,955 49 2,070 51 4,028
20-24 2,788 49 2,950 51 5,743
25-29 2,027 45 2,447 55 4,479
30-59 6,942 39 10,998 61 17,948
60-69 1,143 36 2,068 64 3,216
≥ 70 1,097 30 2,617 70 3,716
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Population and mileage rates

From 1975 to 2008, the rate of deaths per 100,000 people declined by 54 percent for teenagers (from 29.4 to 13.6 per 100,000). In contrast, the death rate declined by 75 percent for people 12 and younger (from 7.9 to 2.0 per 100,000), 36 percent for people ages 20-69 (from 22.4 to 14.3 per 100,000), and 40 percent for people 70 and older (from 25.9 to 15.5 per 100,000).

Motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 people by age group, 1975-2008
  < 13 13-19 20-69 ≥ 70
Population Num rate Population Num rate Population Num rate Population Num rate
1975 45,851,304 3,643 7.9 29,795,023 8,748 29.4 125,762,927 28,154 22.4 14,563,945 3,775 25.9
1976 45,000,704 3,424 7.6 29,909,414 9,356 31.3 128,164,926 28,654 22.4 14,960,120 3,896 26.0
1977 44,337,332 3,347 7.5 29,800,313 9,633 32.3 130,700,531 30,747 23.5 15,401,249 3,859 25.1
1978 43,907,467 3,367 7.7 29,543,252 9,940 33.6 133,257,285 32,906 24.7 15,876,541 3,824 24.1
1979 43,778,959 3,171 7.2 29,077,607 9,920 34.1 135,810,304 33,907 25.0 16,388,617 3,772 23.0
1980 43,914,342 3,048 6.9 28,486,487 9,524 33.4 137,925,913 34,329 24.9 16,897,977 3,861 22.8
1981 44,049,940 2,733 6.2 27,743,947 8,315 30.0 140,349,007 33,837 24.1 17,322,714 3,871 22.3
1982 44,131,596 2,573 5.8 27,160,586 7,323 27.0 142,588,426 30,150 21.1 17,783,888 3,655 20.6
1983 44,119,297 2,518 5.7 26,737,497 6,805 25.5 144,701,358 29,341 20.3 18,233,751 3,734 20.5
1984 43,978,044 2,422 5.5 26,435,885 6,952 26.3 146,747,916 30,585 20.8 18,662,938 4,052 21.7
1985 44,260,136 2,469 5.6 26,001,247 6,737 25.9 148,589,564 30,157 20.3 19,072,785 4,206 22.1
1986 44,755,454 2,537 5.7 25,592,481 7,466 29.2 150,321,426 31,395 20.9 19,463,480 4,445 22.8
1987 45,348,247 2,654 5.9 25,209,615 7,293 28.9 151,840,344 31,750 20.9 19,890,817 4,555 22.9
1988 45,942,966 2,701 5.9 25,004,445 7,242 29.0 153,249,145 32,071 20.9 20,302,280 4,925 24.3
1989 46,690,604 2,658 5.7 24,664,300 6,688 27.1 154,744,818 31,163 20.1 20,719,397 4,943 23.9
1990 47,472,527 2,332 4.9 24,404,795 6,364 26.1 156,422,791 30,934 19.8 21,164,283 4,844 22.9
1991 48,240,747 2,257 4.7 24,066,587 5,760 23.9 158,093,861 28,536 18.1 21,751,897 4,843 22.3
1992 48,903,668 2,165 4.4 24,163,175 5,215 21.6 159,641,639 26,859 16.8 22,321,217 4,901 22.0
1993 49,335,864 2,164 4.4 24,664,091 5,421 22.0 160,981,980 27,204 16.9 22,800,673 5,221 22.9
1994 49,692,462 2,301 4.6 25,219,838 5,632 22.3 162,170,876 27,271 16.8 23,243,845 5,425 23.3
1995 49,920,484 2,201 4.4 25,764,300 5,675 22.0 163,424,735 28,348 17.3 23,693,757 5,509 23.3
1996 50,085,188 2,186 4.4 26,357,198 5,819 22.1 164,729,863 28,365 17.2 24,056,323 5,578 23.2
1997 50,364,983 2,108 4.2 26,730,812 5,730 21.4 166,278,995 28,194 17.0 24,408,817 5,872 24.1
1998 50,527,476 2,032 4.0 27,174,728 5,610 20.6 167,752,248 27,970 16.7 24,793,551 5,798 23.4
1999 50,667,139 1,997 3.9 27,518,156 5,752 20.9 169,412,713 28,224 16.7 25,092,805 5,657 22.5
2000 52,219,423 1,888 3.6 28,326,412 5,685 20.1 176,086,448 28,874 16.4 25,559,879 5,379 21.0
2001 52,341,395 1,751 3.3 28,437,711 5,594 19.7 178,525,502 29,309 16.4 25,797,467 5,425 21.0
2002 52,332,306 1,617 3.1 28,644,313 5,954 20.8 180,959,275 29,983 16.6 26,005,326 5,332 20.5
2003 52,187,602 1,643 3.1 29,028,500 5,718 19.7 183,371,928 30,070 16.4 26,200,946 5,363 20.5
2004 52,151,406 1,645 3.2 29,400,392 5,645 19.2 185,766,088 30,327 16.3 26,337,518 5,106 19.4
2005 52,149,395 1,529 2.9 29,589,854 5,300 17.9 188,012,486 31,514 16.8 26,658,669 5,047 18.9
2006 52,306,908 1,430 2.7 29,772,198 5,159 17.3 190,434,580 31,375 16.5 26,884,798 4,636 17.2
2007 52,585,809 1,269 2.4 29,775,943 4,981 16.7 192,123,888 30,256 15.7 27,135,517 4,631 17.1
2008 52,929,779 1,045 2.0 29,710,307 4,054 13.6 193,898,604 27,815 14.3 27,521,034 4,268 15.5

The rate of deaths per 100,000 people in 2008 peaked at age 19 for male drivers (18.7 per 100,000) and at age 18 for male passengers (8.6 per 100,000). Death rates peaked at age 18 for both female drivers (8.7 per 100,000) and female passengers (6.3 per 100,000).

Deaths in passenger vehicles per 100,000 people by seating position, age, and gender, 2008

Deaths in passenger vehicles per 100,000 people by seating position, age, and gender, 2008
Age Male Female Total
Population Driver deaths Passenger deaths Population Driver deaths Passenger deaths Population Driver deaths * Passenger deaths *
Num Rate Num Rate Num Rate Num Rate Num Rate Num Rate
< 13 27,071,742 0 0.0 383 1.4 25,858,037 1 0.0 313 1.2 52,929,779 1 0.0 696 1.3
13 2,090,428 1 0.0 36 1.7 1,990,284 2 0.1 20 1.0 4,080,712 3 0.1 56 1.4
14 2,107,271 4 0.2 61 2.9 2,007,966 6 0.3 49 2.4 4,115,237 10 0.2 110 2.7
15 2,152,832 24 1.1 74 3.4 2,047,109 10 0.5 88 4.3 4,199,941 34 0.8 162 3.9
16 2,186,095 149 6.8 138 6.3 2,086,274 81 3.9 91 4.4 4,272,369 230 5.4 229 5.4
17 2,225,149 220 9.9 170 7.6 2,118,661 127 6.0 124 5.9 4,343,810 347 8.0 294 6.8
18 2,270,768 403 17.7 196 8.6 2,155,042 187 8.7 136 6.3 4,425,810 590 13.3 332 7.5
19 2,192,420 410 18.7 173 7.9 2,080,008 166 8.0 108 5.2 4,272,428 576 13.5 281 6.6
20-24 10,845,428 1,998 18.4 725 6.7 10,213,553 634 6.2 341 3.3 21,058,981 2,632 12.5 1,066 5.1
25-29 10,940,956 1,501 13.7 435 4.0 10,392,787 452 4.3 231 2.2 21,333,743 1,953 9.2 666 3.1
30-59 62,140,788 5,507 8.9 1,019 1.6 62,913,674 2,240 3.6 912 1.4 125,054,462 7,747 6.2 1,931 1.5
60-69 12,542,141 1,108 8.8 150 1.2 13,909,277 513 3.7 236 1.7 26,451,418 1,621 6.1 386 1.5
≥ 70 11,158,586 1,633 14.6 298 2.7 16,362,448 806 4.9 643 3.9 27,521,034 2,439 8.9 941 3.4
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

The rate of fatal passenger vehicle crash involvements per 100 million miles traveled in 2001-02 was highest at ages 16-17 for male drivers and at age 16 for female drivers. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 2008. [Unpublished analysis of data from the US Department of Transportation's National Household Travel Survey, General Estimates System, and Fatality Analysis Reporting System]. Arlington, VA.

Fatal passenger vehicle crash involvements per 100 million miles traveled by driver age and gender, April 2001-March 2002
Age Males Females Total*
Crash involvements Miles Rate Crash involvements Miles Rate Crash involvements Miles Rate
16 645 5,813,200,812 11.1 376 5,178,574,303 7.3 1,021 10,991,775,116 9.3
17 981 8,852,565,188 11.1 429 8,154,664,768 5.3 1,410 17,007,229,957 8.3
18 1,282 16,804,407,940 7.6 508 10,771,468,174 4.7 1,790 27,575,876,114 6.5
19 1,347 14,957,220,070 9.0 538 11,159,768,859 4.8 1,885 26,116,988,928 7.2
20-24 5,365 94,285,456,443 5.7 1,819 72,854,283,338 2.5 7,184 167,139,739,780 4.3
25-29 3,528 131,714,125,417 2.7 1,344 83,429,400,617 1.6 4,873 215,143,526,035 2.3
30-59 14,904 845,507,965,689 1.8 6,927 551,350,306,430 1.3 21,831 1396858272119 1.6
60-69 2,088 128,814,817,845 1.6 1,006 64,778,212,790 1.6 3,094 193,593,030,635 1.6
≥ 70 3,145 76,991,652,560 4.1 1,571 39,093,332,009 4.0 4,716 116,084,984,569 4.1
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

The rate of nighttime fatal passenger vehicle crash involvements per 100 million miles traveled in 2001-02 was almost 6 times higher for male drivers ages 16-19 than for male drivers ages 30-59. The corresponding comparison for females yields 3 times the rate. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 2008. [Unpublished analysis of data from the US Department of Transportation's National Household Travel Survey, General Estimates System, and Fatality Analysis Reporting System]. Arlington, VA.

Nighttime (9pm-6am) fatal passenger vehicle crash involvements
per 100 million miles traveled by driver age and gender, April 2001-March 2002
Age Males Females
Crash involvements Miles Rate Crash involvements Miles Rate
16-19 1,753 6,868,242,230 25.5 558 5,288,492,858 10.6
20-29 4,387 34,863,762,486 12.6 1,021 16,250,031,866 6.3
30-59 4,659 100,198,843,583 4.6 1,499 42,841,189,821 3.5
60-69 334 8,575,497,349 3.9 97 3,894,479,517 2.5
≥ 70 243 3,451,274,299 7.0 73 1,370,058,296 5.3

When teenagers died

In 2008, August had the highest number of teenage crash deaths of any month.

Teenage motor vehicle crash deaths by month, 2008
Month Deaths %
January 301 7
February 276 7
March 314 8
April 325 8
May 352 9
June 332 8
July 375 9
August 394 10
September 313 8
October 348 9
November 370 9
December 354 9
Total 4,054 100

Fifty-five percent of motor vehicle crash deaths among teenagers in 2008 occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Teenage motor vehicle crash deaths by day of week, 2008
Day of week Deaths %
Sunday 761 19
Monday 465 12
Tuesday 440 11
Wednesday 436 11
Thursday 474 12
Friday 681 17
Saturday 797 20
Total* 4,054 100
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Twenty percent of teenage motor vehicle crash deaths in 2008 occurred between 9 pm and midnight.

Teenage motor vehicle crash deaths by time of day, 2008
Time of day Deaths %
Midnight-3am 599 15
3am-6am 390 10
6am-9am 336 8
9am-noon 260 6
Noon-3pm 415 10
3pm-6pm 597 15
6pm-9pm 620 15
9pm-midnight 800 20
Total* 4,054 100
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Alcohol involvement

Young drivers are less likely than adults to drive after drinking alcohol, but their crash risk is substantially higher when they do. This is especially true at low and moderate blood alcohol concentrations (BACs). Peck, R.C; Gebers, M.A.; Voas, R.B.; and Romano, E. 2008. The relationship between blood alcohol concentration (BAC), age, and crash rise. Journal of Safety Research 39:311-19. The estimated percentage of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers ages 16-17 who had BACs at or above 0.08 percent in 2008 was 16 percent, down 60 percent since 1982. Most of this decline took place in the 1980s. This age group experienced the greatest decline in alcohol involvement, compared with a 45 percent decline for drivers ages 18-20, a 15 percent decline for drivers ages 21-30, and a 32 percent decline for drivers older than 30.

Percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers with BACs ≥ 0.08 percent by age, 1982-2008

Estimated percent and number of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers with BACs ≥ 0.08 percent by age group, 1982-2008
Year Ages 16-17 Ages 18-20 Ages 21-30 Ages > 30
Drivers killed Estimated drivers killed with BAC ≥ 0.08 Drivers killed Estimated drivers killed with BAC ≥ 0.08 Drivers killed Estimated drivers killed with BAC ≥ 0.08 Drivers killed Estimated drivers killed with BAC ≥ 0.08
Num Num % Num Num % Num Num % Num Num %
1982 895 368 41 2,561 1,458 57 6,244 3,948 63 9,861 4,208 43
1983 899 345 38 2,427 1,336 55 6,053 3,859 64 9,845 3,943 40
1984 969 321 33 2,472 1,274 52 6,412 3,885 61 10,337 3,860 37
1985 935 250 27 2,292 1,009 44 6,262 3,659 58 10,441 3,713 36
1986 1,172 336 29 2,464 1,158 47 6,695 3,974 59 11,042 3,887 35
1987 1,192 311 26 2,438 1,004 41 6,802 3,975 58 11,579 4,016 35
1988 1,177 302 26 2,611 1,056 40 6,819 3,991 59 12,145 4,203 35
1989 1,060 234 22 2,476 991 40 6,475 3,675 57 12,401 4,272 34
1990 999 224 22 2,398 974 41 6,152 3,510 57 12,274 4,238 35
1991 902 193 21 2,119 852 40 5,623 3,183 57 11,801 3,993 34
1992 900 165 18 1,797 664 37 5,122 2,759 54 11,639 3,823 33
1993 935 152 16 1,870 643 34 5,065 2,658 52 12,038 3,851 32
1994 1,006 167 17 1,984 632 32 4,975 2,484 50 12,525 3,771 30
1995 1,015 150 15 1,968 575 29 5,081 2,585 51 13,246 4,155 31
1996 1,106 186 17 1,920 583 30 4,989 2,475 50 13,478 4,070 30
1997 1,090 180 17 1,946 594 31 4,775 2,275 48 13,777 4,004 29
1998 1,059 161 15 2,035 607 30 4,577 2,222 49 13,839 3,930 28
1999 1,092 172 16 2,169 677 31 4,653 2,260 49 13,870 3,866 28
2000 999 158 16 2,251 686 30 4,706 2,268 48 13,743 3,997 29
2001 993 132 13 2,254 691 31 4,735 2,358 50 13,790 4,005 29
2002 1,126 155 14 2,326 718 31 4,938 2,462 50 14,006 4,020 29
2003 994 159 16 2,266 699 31 4,852 2,308 48 13,957 3,930 28
2004 969 149 15 2,206 665 30 4,970 2,372 48 13,689 3,743 27
2005 879 132 15 2,106 603 29 5,067 2,492 49 13,809 3,852 28
2006 859 151 18 2,161 680 31 5,159 2,535 49 13,321 3,779 28
2007 775 133 17 1,953 633 32 5,028 2,592 52 12,697 3,675 29
2008 577 94 16 1,712 535 31 4,371 2,345 54 11,478 3,336 29

Fatally injured female teenage drivers were less likely than male teenage drivers in 2008 to have high BACs. Among fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers ages 16-17, 20 percent of males and 10 percent of females in 2008 had BACs at or above 0.08 percent. Among fatally injured drivers ages 18-19, 34 percent of males and 17 percent of females had BACs at or above 0.08 percent.

Estimated percent and number of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers with BACs≥0.08 percent by gender and age, 2008
Age Male Female Total*
Drivers killed Estimated drivers killed with BAC ≥ 0.08 Drivers killed Estimated drivers killed with BAC ≥ 0.08 Drivers killed Estimated drivers killed with BAC ≥ 0.08
Num Num % Num Num % Num Num %
16-17 369 74 20 208 20 10 577 94 16
18-19 813 279 34 353 59 17 1,167 338 29
20 406 165 41 139 32 23 545 197 36
21-30 3,341 1,987 59 1,030 358 35 4,371 2,345 54
31-60 5,393 2,423 45 2,227 577 26 7,620 3,001 39
61-70 1,081 180 17 489 21 4 1,571 202 13
> 70 1,526 113 7 760 21 3 2,287 134 6
All ages* 12,969 5,240 40 5,226 1,091 21 18,201 6,332 35
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

References