Nationally, teen drivers were involved in approximately 911,483 crashes resulting in 3,833 fatalities and 364,095 serious injuries in 2019. Florida has more than 400,000 registered teen drivers, age 15 to 19. In Florida, teen drivers were involved in 60,135 crashes resulting in 279 fatalities and 2,200 serious injuries in 2019. Nationally, drivers aged 16 and 17 have the highest crash rates of any age group. Peer pressure is an especially potent contributing factor to teen driver vehicle crashes.
A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study found:
Teen drivers are inexperienced and therefore more likely to underestimate dangerous situations and allow shorter distances between vehicles. From 2015-2019, more than one third of all Florida teen fatalities, serious injuries and crashes occurred at intersections where the mix of traffic, pedestrians, signs, and signals can be overwhelming, especially for someone who is inexperienced. The Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws allow new drivers to gain necessary experience and skills before being allowed full driving privileges. GDL has been very effective in reducing fatalities and serious injuries among teen drivers.
Florida’s population and daily vehicle miles traveled (VMT) continues to rise which has contributed to the rising number of annual fatalities on Florida’s roadways. However, while Florida’s fatalities continue to trend upward, the number of serious injuries on Florida’s roadways have been declining, dropping by 16 percent since 2015, despite a 10 percent increase in the total number of crashes in the same time period.
*Data provided by FLHSMV for the period of 2015-2019. Data includes all fatalities, serious injuries, and crashes involving a teen driver.