Teen drivers in NC are pretty safe, a new report suggests


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Congratulations teenage drivers across North Carolina, you’re doing pretty well in the safety department, according to a new report that is.

Learning to drive is a major rite of passage for most teenagers, but doing so also comes with a fair amount of risk. In addition to simply being inexperienced on the road, teen drivers are more irresponsible in their decisions, more prone to distraction, and more likely to make errors behind the wheel.

However, according to a new report by CoPilot, which looked at U.S. states with the riskiest teenage drivers, North Carolina’s teenage drivers are the 6th safest.

In North Carolina, 8.1 percent of young drivers report not wearing a seatbelt when driving. Additionally, 2.9 percent report drinking and driving, and 35.9 percent report texting while driving, the report concluded.

Despite these efforts, teens are the riskiest group on the road. According to the CDC, the risk of a fatal crash is three times higher per mile driven for drivers aged 16 to 19 than for drivers aged 20 and up.

Risks are particularly high for male drivers, drivers with other teenage passengers, and teens who are in the first few months after receiving their license.

By comparison, South Dakota ranked as the state with the country’s riskiest drivers. The report suggests 11.7 percent of young drivers report not wearing a seatbelt. Furthermore, 6.3 percent report drinking and driving, and 50.5 percent report texting while driving.

The primary ranking data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), which is a representative survey of 9th through 12th grade students in public and private schools in the United States. The chart data is from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)

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