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140114EPA driverstatisticsThe per-mile crash rate for teenage drivers is three times higher after 9:00 pm compared with during the day.

Some of the reasons include teens:

  • have more difficulty and less experience driving at night than during the day.
  • are more sleep deprived.
  • are more likely to drive recreationally at night, which often involves alcohol.

For teenagers, the risk of being in a crash also increases when they transport passengers. The fatality risk of drivers who are 16 to 17 years old is 3.6 times higher when they are driving with passengers than when they are driving alone, and the relative risk of a fatal crash increases as the number of passengers increases.

Teenagers tend to take more risks while driving partly because of their overconfidence in their driving abilities. Young, novice drivers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, running red lights, violating traffic signs and signals, making illegal turns, passing dangerously and failing to yield to pedestrians.

How can you avoid your own teen joining these troubling statistics?

  • Make sure your teens take drivers' education.
  • Remind them about safe practices behind the wheel.
  • Don't take risks yourself when you drive with them, as you model poor behavior for them if you do.