Why is Your Teen at Risk?

Portrait of a distracted young woman looking at her smartphone and putting some lipstick on while driving a car

Recent Study Shows Teens “Always-On Lifestyle”

A new study by Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD shows teen's "Fear of Missing Out" (FoMO) is proving to be dangerous. The study shows teens' always-on lifestyle may lead to drowsy and distracted driving. (PRNewsFoto/Liberty Mutual Insurance)

Teens crash for many reasons, but data shows that this age group makes 9 common mistakes, sometimes in combination with each other, that can result in deadly consequences. These include:

1. Overconfidence

Teens tend to overrate their driving skills, believing they can handle risky situations. Driver error is a factor in 2/3 of fatal teen crashes.

2. Failing to buckle up

Seat belt use among teens is the lowest of any age group. Six out of 10 drivers in the U.S., aged 16-20, killed in crashes were not wearing seatbelts.

3. Talking/texting on a cell phone

Teens state cell phone usage is their #1 distraction while driving. Using a cell phone when driving is AS dangerous as driving intoxicated.

4. Speeding

Crash risks increase with each mile per hour driven over the speed limit. One-third of U.S. teen fatalities involve speeding.

5. Impaired driving

Almost half of all traffic fatalities involving 16 to 24 year olds are alcohol-related. Driving while tired is just as dangerous as driving intoxicated.

6. Passenger distractions

By carrying just one passenger the risk for a crash increases by 50 percent. With three or more passengers, the risk is nearly four times greater.

7. Driving at night

Teens are twice as likely to crash at night (9pm-6am) than during the day.

8. Failure to anticipate potential dangers

Crash rates for newly licensed drivers are highest during the first six months due to lack of experience.

9. Ignoring car maintenance

Teens are more likely to drive old vehicles and may be unaware of the importance of routine maintenance and making necessary repairs.