Teen drivers have the highest fatal crash risk of any age group. Per kilometre travelled, they have the highest involvement rates in all types of crashes, from those involving only property damage to those that are fatal. The problem is worst among 17-18 year-olds, who have the most limited driving experience that often results in risk-taking behind the wheel. Learn what parents can do to educate a teenage driver.
Parent of a new teen driver? Consider using the Progressive Teen Driver Term Sheet to set clear boundaries and expectations for your teen's driving habits.
Key Statistics for Youth Drivers
- Injury is the single biggest killer of Australian youth; more than all other causes combined
- 45 per cent of all young Australian injury deaths are due to road traffic crashes
- The injury death rate for Indigenous youth is 5 times greater than for non-Indigenous youth
- Of all hospitalisations of young Australians, almost half are drivers involved in a road traffic crash and another quarter are passengers
- Young drivers (17-25 years) represent one-quarter of all Australian road deaths, but are only 10-15% of the licensed driver population
- A 17 year old driver with a P1 licence is four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than a driver over 26 years
- The biggest killer of young drivers is speeding and around 80 per cent of those killed are male
- One-third of all speeding drivers and rider in fatal crashes are males aged 17-25; 6 per cent are females aged 17-25
Crash Risk Factors
- Driver error
Compared with crashes of older drivers, those of teenagers more often involve driver error.
Excessive speed is a factor in higher crash rates among 17-18 year-old drivers.
- Single-vehicle crashes
More fatal crashes of teenage drivers involve only the teen's vehicle. Typically, these involve high speed and/or driver error.
Fatal crashes among teens are more likely to occur when other teenagers are in the car. The risk increases with every additional passenger.
Although this is a problem among drivers of all ages, it's acute for younger drivers who have less experience with driving to begin with, and also drinking.
- Night driving
This is a high-risk activity for beginners. Per kilometre driven, the crash rate for teenagers driving at night with passengers is 4 to 5 times more likely than teenagers who drive alone during the day.
- Low seat belt use
Teenagers generally are less likely to use safety belts than adults.