Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Nearly One Thousand Austin Crashes Involved Teenage Drivers in the Last Year

Talk to Teens About the Importance of Driving Safety During National Teen Driver Safety Week

New data shows there were approximately 970 crashes involving a teenage driver in the last year, in Austin. Of those, over 50 crashes resulted in serious injuries or death, according to figures from Austin's Transportation Department.*

The City's Municipal Court is teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to help raise awareness of the dangers on the road. National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 17-23, 2021, focusing on the importance of safe driving behavior.  

"It's critically important that parents consistently reinforce driver safety with their teenagers," said Austin Court Clerk Mary Jane Grubb. "New drivers are less experienced and more susceptible to dangerous situations, putting themselves and others at risk."

Car crashes are a leading cause of death for young people, accounting for nearly one-third of all teen deaths in America each year, according to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The Austin Municipal Court found in the last 18 months, 328 tickets were issued to teenager drivers 16 and under. Over 40% of those were involved in crashes.

The NHTSA says parents can help protect their teen drivers by discussing risky driving behaviors. Self-reported surveys show that teens whose parents set firm rules for driving typically engaged in less risky driving behaviors and were involved in fewer crashes.

By sharing their driving experience, parents can help teen drivers make smart choices and actions to stay safe on the road. NHTSA gives parents tips on how to talk about safe driving behaviors with their teens along with how to address the most dangerous and deadly driving behaviors for teen drivers: alcohol and other drug use, lack of seat belt use, distracted driving, speeding, and driving with passengers.

For more information about National Teen Driver Safety, visit www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving.

*All crash geographic coordinates are produced by TxDOT, and some may be manually updated by ATD staff based on CR3 collision information. ATD's database is continuously updated, so reports run at different times may produce different results based on different data collection methods, different data sources, and different time frames used. For more information about traffic crashes in Austin go to: https://visionzero.austin.gov/viewer/