Reducing Alcohol-Related Teen Traffic Crashes

The Partnership for Safe Driving reports that both speeding and distracted driving are much more serious problems for teens than drunken driving. According to official statistics collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about seven out of every ten teens killed in traffic crashes had not been drinking at all.

The safety group notes that “the recent rash of high-profile teen crashes appears to be related, first and foremost, to speeding and drag racing, not alcohol. In addition, a growing number of teen crashes are caused by cell phone use among teen drivers, which is still legal in most states.”

In spite of this, the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) is launching another new educational campaign to discourage teenage drinking. It is continuing to ignore the more serious problems of speeding and cell phone use by young people.

“While the Partnership for Safe Driving strongly supports campaigns to deter drunk driving, we continue to be thoroughly puzzled by the unwillingness of both the government and private sector to acknowledge that both speeding and distracted driving are much bigger problems for teenagers than drunk driving. Until these problems are addressed, we expect to see no significant decline in teen deaths on the roads.”

The mission of the Partnership for Safe Driving is to make crash prevention a national priority. The is a non-profit, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to eliminating all forms of dangerous driving and preventing car crashes.


  • "Campaign Ignores Teen Speeding, Cell Phone Use" Crash Prevention News, April 15, 2005.

Filed Under: Drinking and Driving