In 2013, young people ages 15-19 represented only 7% of the U.S. population. However, they accounted for 11% ($10 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration focuses on five most significant risks when teens are at the wheel, and has created a "5 to Drive" campaign to address these:
- alcohol use
- not wearing seat belts
- distracted driving
- extra passengers, especially other teens
Both the AAP and the American Automobile Association urge parents of teen drivers to consider entering into a contract with their children, first discussing the many factors that impact safe driving and then coming to an agreement about how and when their child should be operating a motor vehicle and what the consequences will be for any infractions. The AAP also offers links to information for parents about their role in safe teen driving and to clear, colorful charts (good for sharing with your teen) showing how different risk factors can affect teen driving safety.