Teen Car Crash Rates
The Story Behind The Numbers

teen car crash rates

The teen car crash rate is so much higher than it ought to be and all effort should be made to bring the numbers down as much as possible. 

Although we may be aware of the problem, a lot of people do not stop to wonder what the most common cause of teenage car accidents are, so knowing how to help address the problem becomes tricky.

After all, teenagers are exposed to drugs, alcohol, peer pressure, and so on.

However, the occurrence of teen accidents on the road are consistently high and this includes an alarming number of teenage car tragedies.

In order to help stop the growth of this number, the factors behind teenage car accidents should be looked into.


When people hear the teen car crash statistics, the blame is often pointed to drunk driving and the influence of illegal drug use.

While these reasons are valid common causes of car accidents, there are other causes not as well known or that people commonly ignore.

Knowing these basic causes of teen accidents is important because that knowledge can help prevent future teen car crashes when good education and strict supervision and consequences are enforced.

So, what are the greatest causes of teenage car accidents these days?

Breaking The Rules Of The Road

teen car crash causes

First, let's start with one of the most common cause of teen car crashes: Drunk Driving.

Parties all-night-long, overflowing drinks that they never seem to get tired of, and the pressure of trying to outdo each other and impress each other all contribute to teen alcohol consumption.

Alcoholic drinks are often fixtures in such parties and night club destinations. Combined with peer pressure that most commonly leads teens to ignoring their personal limits, they do what they think their peers find cool, which includes drinking beer, wine coolers, etc.

Unfortunately, teenagers who drive their cars naturally have to drive themselves and, sometimes, their friends home. This is when most teenage car accidents happen.

In connection to this, another cause of teen accidents is driving during dark evenings. Most of the recorded cases of teenage car accidents occur during the night. This may be related to the fact that parties end very late at night or during the wee hours of the morning.

This is when drunk teenagers drive or those under the influence of drugs are on their way home, sometimes alone or sometimes with some of their friends. Even when they’ve not been drinking, the dim road makes it hard for drivers to see and thus makes it more probable for a teen car crash to occur.

Rules and laws have been imposed regarding underage drinking, drunk driving, and using illegal drugs. However, people often break these rules and teens are not an exception.

Distractions As A Rising Cause Of Teen Accidents

teen accidents

Another common cause of teenage car accidents is distractions within their vehicle.  The distractions may come from passengers or from electronic devices (radio, cell phone, mp3, etc).

Young or new drivers are most vulnerable to this since they are not yet used to being the driver as opposed to being a mere passenger.  They may not fuly understand that the driver has to have complete focus and presence of mind while driving.  Quite often they feel that they can multi-task quite easily and don't realize how quickly one second of inattention can lead to a massive accident.

Passengers, on the other hand, have the option of chatting endlessly with other passengers, playing with handy gaming consoles, eating, reading, and the like.  Too much noise from these activities, which is also very common to young groups of friends in one vehicle, may become a big source of distraction that becomes a danger as well.

Aside from distraction from passengers, distraction from one’s own gadgets is also something you need to prevent.  Some drivers might think texting or talking on the phone while driving wouldn’t do them any harm, but research proves them wrong. According to several research reports, the number of car accidents caused by cellular phone distractions increases every year.

Yes, teens love their cell phones, which is their ultimate link to the world, and this is why it has become a very common cause of teen car crashes.   Unfortunately, older adults are not being a good example in this area, as I often see so many of them talking on their phone while driving.

If we really want to make a difference and help save lives, we ALL need to make the commitment not to use electronic devices while driving our vehicles. 

Drowsiness Leads To Teenage Auto Accidents

As strange as it may seem, studies show that teens tend to get rather sleepy while driving. This is why sleepiness is also pointed as a common cause of teenage car accidents.

While driving with companions can sometimes cause dangerous distractions that may cause accidents, driving alone, on the other hand, can sometimes make people sleepy and also cause crashes.

Sleepiness may cause a driver to just doze off while at the wheel, and this is very dangerous both for him and for other motorists.  It's amazing how far a distance your vehicle can travel in 3 seconds - sometimes right into a tree or telephone pole.

There are several reasons for sleepiness; teens, who go to school and sometimes goes out with friends at night, usually don’t get enough sleep.  We used to call that "burning the candle at both ends."

Sleepiness can also be brought on by the use of medications, and young people need to be reminded of that side effect when taking even over-the counter medicines. 

Emphasis needs to be made that if you're feeling tired while behind the wheel, it's better to pull over for a few minutes and grab a cold drink or take a walk before continuing on your journey.

Accidents That Aren't The Teens Fault

Aside from the common causes of teenage car accidents enumerated above, we shouldn’t forget that sometimes, someone else other than the teenagers has been negligent!

As noted above, I can't drive down a US road these days without seeing people of all ages driving while talking on their cell phone, eating fast food, etc.  I've had plenty of near misses because of their inattention.

Having said that, drivers aren’t always the ones to blame for car accidents. A poor traffic system may also cause accidents, unexpected road blocks without reflectors, and other such things.

Teenage drivers must be responsible enough to prevent the occurrence of car accidents, but both parents and the traffic system should provide guidance and help in reducing and eliminating the most common causes of teenage car accidents.

The Verdict On Teen Car Crash Causes

The rate of car accidents involving teenagers are continuously increasing. To help prevent such accidents, it is important to look into what could be the main cause of teenage car accidents.

These causes should then be dealt with and protected against to help save the lives of thousands of teenagers each year whose lives are put at risk each time they get behind the wheel.

It's heartbreaking when a life is cut short for no other reason than making bad decisions. 

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