Obtaining a driver’s license is a milestone for many teenagers. Unfortunately, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for adolescents in developed countries, with drivers ages 15-19 years having the highest rate of motor vehicle crashes in the U.S.
The updated AAP policy statement The Teen Driver, from the Committee on Adolescence and Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention, highlights new research describing the unique risks teen drivers and their passengers face. It also offers promising interventions to decrease morbidity and mortality, and considerations for teen drivers who have certain health challenges.
The policy discusses parents’ role in fostering the development of their children into safe and competent drivers, and examines the roles of schools, community organizations and governments in supporting and creating policies and programs to mitigate the risks adolescents face on the road. Recommendations are provided for pediatricians in counseling teen drivers, potential drivers and their families.