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Minnesota Teen Crash Facts for 2015 (15-19 years)

  31 teens died in “teen involved” traffic crashes,   3,600 were injured


Minnesota teen drivers continue to be overrepresented in traffic crashes due to driver inexperience, distractions, speeding, risk-taking, and seat belt non-use. The greatest crash risk occurs during the first months of independent driving. The good news is that progress has been made. Laws such as no cell phone use, no texting, primary seat belt, and nighttime and passenger limitations have helped reduce teen traffic deaths and injuries.

In 2005, 21.9% of all traffic crashes were “teen involved”. In 2015 it is 16.4%

“Teen involved” means that a teen driver was involved in the crash. It does not mean that they caused it. No teen pedestrian or bicycle crashes are counted in the teen statistics

Teen fatalities in relationship to all fatalities have also decreased from 15.5% in 2004 to 8% in 2015. Injuries have been reduced from 17.6% in 2004 to 12%

     Minnesota has seen a drop in teens being arrested for DWI

  • Contributing factors in teen crashes:
    • Driver inattention/distraction (22%)
    • Failure to yield  (15%)
    • Following too closely  (11%)


·         Four teens were killed in alcohol related crashes—One teen driver was drunk

·         1,274 drivers under 21 were arrested for DWI (another decrease)

                             Of that number, 787 were arrests of 14-19 year olds & 489 were arrests of 20 year olds 


Teen drivers had the more crashes in the winter months

The most dangerous time for teen driver crashes was between 2 – 6 pm  42%

The most dangerous 24 hours is Fridays


·         Teens serious crashes in motorcycles – 0 deaths, 4 serious injury

                                            Bicycles – 0 deaths, 9 serious injury

                                                 Pedestrian – 1 deaths, 14 serious injuries


For more information on teen driving go to


Minnesota crash information taken from Minnesota Crash Facts 2015



In the United States, teenagers drive less than all but the oldest people, but their numbers of crashes and crash deaths are disproportionately high.  In the United States, the fatal crash rate per mile driven for 16-19 year-olds is nearly 3 times the rate for drivers ages 20 and over. Risk is highest at ages 16-17. In fact, the fatal crash rate per mile driven is nearly twice as high for 16-17 year-olds as it is for 18-19 year-olds. But, the statistics show improvement in most all areas.

The definition of a “teen involved” crash is any crash with at least one teen driver of any motor vehicle involved. It does not mean that the teen caused the crash.

A total of 2,524 teenagers ages 13-19 died in motor vehicle crashes in 2013. This is 71% fewer than in 1975 and 11% fewer than in 2013. About 2 out of 3 teenagers killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2013 were males.

  • Since 1975 teenage motor vehicle crash deaths have decreased more among males (75%) than among females (60%)
  • In 2013, June, July and August had the highest number of teenage crash deaths of any months.
  • 54% of motor vehicle crash deaths among teenagers occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday
  • Teenage motor vehicle crash deaths in 2013 occurred most frequently between 6 - 9 p.m. This is a change from last year when it was 9 to midnight.  This is a change from 2010 when it was 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • In 2013, 52 percent of deaths among passenger vehicle occupants ages 16-19 were drivers.
  • Fifty-four percent of teenage passenger deaths in 2012 occurred in vehicles driven by another teenager. Among deaths of passengers of all ages, 14 percent occurred when a teenager was driving.
  • In 2013, teenagers accounted for 9 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths. They comprised 9 percent of passenger vehicle (cars, pickups, SUVs, and vans) occupant deaths among all ages, 5 percent of pedestrian deaths, 3 percent of motorcyclist deaths, 10 percent of bicyclist deaths, and 5 percent of all-terrain vehicle rider deaths.
  • Young drivers are less likely than adults to drive after drinking alcohol, but their crash risk is substantially higher when they do. This is especially true at low and moderate alcohol concentrations. The estimated percentage of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers ages 16-17 who had a BAC at or above 0.08% in 2013 was down 12%, and down 71% since 1982. Most of the decline took place in the 1980’s. This age group experienced the greatest decline in alcohol involvement compared with a 46% decline for drivers ages 18-20, a 22% decline for drivers ages 21-30, and a 35% decline for drivers older than 30.
  • Fatally injured female teenage drivers were less likely than male teenage drivers in 2013 to have high BACs. Among fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers ages 16-17, 13 percent of males and 10 percent of females in 2013 had BACs at or above 0.08 percent. Among fatally injured drivers ages 18-19, 30 percent of males and 16 percent of females had BACs at or above 0.08 percent.
  • In 2013, belt use among fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers ages 16-19 (47 percent) was higher than among fatally injured drivers ages 20-29 (41 percent) but lower than among drivers 30 and older combined (49 percent).
  • Among passenger vehicle drivers ages 16-19 involved in fatal crashes in 2013, 47 percent were involved in single-vehicle crashes. This was higher than for drivers ages 25 and older (38%). 


For more information on national teen driving statistics go to


Driving Rules and Tips for Beginners

Getting a driver’s license is an enormous step in a person’s life. This is true regardless of whether the new driver is 18 or older, or if he or she is younger. Once earned, the ability to drive is often seen as a sign of adulthood by many young drivers. A car and the ability to travel without the help of others also symbolizes freedom for many, regardless of their age. A driver’s license is also a serious responsibility and should not be taken lightly. To earn and maintain an excellent driving record, there are many factors that a driver must understand, both before and after obtaining a license. Go to this website that has many interesting articles that a new driver and a more experienced driver should read

Contributing factors to teen driver crash rates:

Due to a combination of immaturity and inexperience, teens have a higher propensity for risk taking behaviors than do older and experienced drivers. Teen drivers are less likely to buckle up, and more likely to speed or drive too fast for prevailing conditions.

Younger drivers are frequently inexperienced in hazard recognition and often take unnecessary risk due to a combination of poor decision making and an illusion of vulnerability. Younger drivers do not always consider the consequences of their actions.

Recent research in adolescent development supports the contention that younger people are often developmentally less capable of making sound judgments and decisions regarding potentially risky behavior. Areas of the brain involved in rendering judgments and making decisions are not fully developed until around age 25.

National information taken from