Face The Facts


We know this isn’t the fun stuff. But it’s really important. In fact, if you forget everything else you see here, remember these ten simple things. And don’t forget to share them with a friend.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for American teens. 

In 2015, 2,333 teens (that’s 6 per day) were killed in car accidents and another 221,313 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in crashes. - 2015, Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Cell phones aren’t the only distractions.

Distractions go beyond texting and talking on the phone to include anything that takes your attention away from driving.

  • Using a navigation system
  • Friends in the car
  • Adjusting car controls
  • Eating and drinking

Any of these distractions can endanger you and others.

Put your cell phone away and make adjustments to vehicle controls – such as radios, air conditioning, or mirrors – before beginning to drive or after the car is no longer in motion.

Crash risk is higher during the first months of getting a license.

Driving is a complex skill, one that must be practiced to be learned well.

  • Get at least 30 to 50 hours of supervised driving practice over at least six months.
  • Practice with a licensed adult on a variety of roads, at different times of day, and in varied weather and traffic conditions.
  • Continually scan for potential hazards such as other vehicles, bikes and pedestrians.

- 2014, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Friends are great, but not always in your car.

A teen driver with a teen passenger increases the likelihood of having a crash. 55 percent of the deaths of teenage passengers occurred in vehicles driven by another teens.

- 2015, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Accidents are more likely to occur at night. 

The fatal crash rate of teens is about 4 times as high at night as it is during the day.

Seventeen percent of teen deaths occurred between 9 p.m. to midnight, followed closely by the time between 6 and 9 p.m. (16 percent).

At night, you have less time to see and react. That’s why it’s good to slow down and be more cautious at night.

- 2015, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Get your ZZZs!

The less sleep the person behind the wheel gets, the higher the crash rate. Drivers who sleep only five or six hours are twice as likely to crash as drivers who get seven hours of sleep or more. One study found that drivers who got only four or five hours of shut-eye had four times the crash rate — close to what's seen among drunken drivers.

- 2016, AAA Foundation

Seat belts save an estimated 13,941 lives every year. 

Many understand the lifesaving value of the seat belt – the national use rate is just over 90 percent – but nearly 27.5 million still don’t buckle up. Teens have among the lowest rates of seat belt use. Only 61 percent of high school students say they always wear seat belts.

- 2015, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Center for Disease Control

Excessive speed is a factor in about a third of teens' fatal crashes.

It probably won’t surprise you that younger drivers are more likely to take risks like speeding, tailgating, ignoring signals and stuff like that.

- 2014, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

It’s simple, drinking and driving don’t mix.

About 4 beers = .08 percent blood alcohol.

Seventeen percent of drivers aged 16 to 20 involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes had a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or higher.

20 percent of teens reported that, within the previous month, they had ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol. And 8 percent of students reported having driven after drinking alcohol within the same one-month period.

- 2014, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Put your phone down. 

Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.

During daylight hours, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens are the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.

- 2015, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration