Do you know what the leading cause of death among teenagers is? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it's motor vehicle accidents.

Before we dive right into all the details, one word of caution. This article is a bit of a grim one. It contains no sugarcoating of the truth. What you're about to read is a bit shocking, but we're presenting this information to you because we're an online driver-ed provider that cares about the safety of all teenage drivers.

  • Motor vehicle crashes: Remain the leading cause of death for teens aged 15-18.
    • Source: CDC, Teen Drivers: Get the Facts
    • In 2021, there were 2,116 drivers aged 15-20 who died in motor vehicle crashes, and an additional 3,450 young people died as passengers in these crashes. (NHTSA, Young Drivers Traffic Safety Facts)
  • Percentage of teen deaths from crashes: Approximately 20% of all deaths among teens aged 15-18 result from motor vehicle crashes.

    • Source: CDC, Teen Drivers: Get the Facts

    These numbers are alarming, but understanding the factors that contribute to teen crashes can help us prevent them.

Factors Contributing to Teen Crashes:

  • Inexperience: Teen drivers lack the experience of adult drivers to identify and react to hazards.
    • Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Distracted driving: Cell phone use, talking to passengers, and other distractions increase crash risk.
    • Source: CDC, Teen Drivers: Get the Facts
  • Driving with teen passengers: The presence of teen passengers increases the risk of crashes, especially for male teen drivers.
    • Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
  • Nighttime and weekend driving: Crash rates for teen drivers are higher at night and on weekends.
    • Source: IIHS
  • Not using seat belts: Teenagers have the lowest rate of seat belt use compared to other age groups.
    • Source: NHTSA

Inability to detect hazards Teenage drivers have difficulty detecting potential hazards while behind the wheel. An online driver's ed course such as the one offered at provides drivers with visual tutorials and key information that will help them identify potential road hazards to prepare them for life on the road. As drivers gain more experience while driving, they'll improve their ability to see potential threats.

Poor perception of risks New drivers, even those who have taken a land-based or online driver's ed course, still have difficulty understanding the real risks on the road. They tend to underestimate the risks associated with hazardous situations and they also tend to be overconfident in their ability to get out of risky situations and avoid crashes.

They think they're invincible Driving is not a game. Unfortunately, too many teenagers think they're invincible on the road and don't bother fastening their seatbelt. Seatbelts save lives in the event of a crash. Not wearing one can make you another statistic.

Lack of skill New teenage drivers haven't mastered the skills they need to drive safely. While the best way to become a better, safer driver is through more and more hours behind the wheel, an in-class or online drivers ed course in approved states such as California, Arizona, and Florida provides you with the key knowledge you need to be smart behind the wheel before you hit the road.