Shippensburg Police Department


Fred A. Scott, Chief of Police


60 West Burd Street ~ Shippensburg, Pennsylvania 17257 ~ Department: 717.532.7361 Fax: 717.532.2313

          Please pull over to the right for lights and siren....whether they are coming up behind you or driving on the other side of the road...Please pull over toward the right hand side for lights and siren         



Teenage Drivers


Beginning driversí crashes differ:
Teen drivers have the highest crash risk per mile traveled of any age group. The problem is worst among 16 year olds, who have the most limited driving experience and an immaturity that often results in risk-taking. Characteristics of fatal crashes of 16-year-old drivers include:


Driver error:

Compared with older driversí fatal crashes, those of 16 year-olds more often involve driver error.



Sixteen-year-old drivers have a higher rate of fatal crashes in which excessive speed is a factor.


Single-vehicle crashes:

More of 16 year-oldsí fatal crashes involve only the teenís vehicle. Typically these are high-speed crashes in which the driver lost control.



Sixteen year-oldsí fatal crashes are more likely to occur when passengers are riding in the vehicle. This risk increases with the addition of every passenger.



Although this is a problem among drivers of all ages, itís actually less of a problem for 16 year olds. Typically, about 15 percent of fatally injured 16-year-old drivers have blood alcohol concentrations of 0.08 percent or more, but alcohol becomes more of a problem in later teen years.


Night driving:

This is a high-risk activity for beginners. Per mile driven, the nighttime fatal crash rate of 16 year olds is about twice as high at night compared with during the day.


Low belt use:

Most teenagers who are killed in crashes arenít using their safety belts.

16 - 17 year-old driver fatal crash characteristics
Alone vs. with passengers, 2005



1 teen

2 teen

3+ teen

single vehicle










driver error





0.08+ BAC





Fatal crash characteristics
Percent by driver age, FARS 2005

  16 17 18 19 20-25 26-49
driver error 74 73 71 68 64 51
speeding 34 32 33 33 30 19
single vehicle 49 47 44 46 45 38
3+ occupants 29 24 23 24 19 17
positive BACs 15 23 30 32 53 48

Graduated licensing can help:

Teenagers perceive a driverís license as a ticket to freedom. Itís momentous for parents, too. Though they often are aware of 16 year-oldsí high crash risks, theyíre relieved not to have to chauffeur their children around anymore. But the price is steep. Crashes are the leading cause of death among American teens, accounting for more than onethird of all deaths of 16 to 18 year-olds.

An effective way to reduce this toll is to enact graduated licensing, under which driving privileges are phased in to restrict beginnersí initial experience behind the wheel to lower risk situations. The restrictions gradually are lifted, so teenagers are more experienced and mature when they
get their full, unrestricted licenses.

The best graduated licensing systems include a learnerís stage that begins at age 16, lasts 6 months, specifies a minimum amount of supervised driving, limits night driving and teen passengers, and sets alcohol tolerance at zero. Graduated licensing laws have reduced teensí crash rates in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. Almost all U.S. states have such laws, but they arenít all strong.

What parents of teenagers can do:

With or without a strong graduated licensing law, parents can establish effective rules. In particular:
Donít rely solely on driver education. High school driver education may be the most convenient way to
learn skills, but it doesnít produce safer drivers. Poor skills arenít always to blame. Teenagersí attitudes and decision-making matter more. Young people tend to rebel, and some teens seek thrills like speeding. Training and education donít change these tendencies. Peers are influential, but parents have much more influence than typically is credited to them.

Know the law:

Become familiar with restrictions on young drivers. Enforce the rules. To learn about the law in your state, go to Pa. State graduated driver licensing. .

Restrict night driving:

Most young driversí nighttime fatal crashes occur from 9 p.m. to midnight, so teens shouldnít drive much later than 9. The problem isnít just that such driving requires more skill. Late outings tend to be recreational, and even teens who usually follow the rules can be easily distracted or encouraged to take risks.

Restrict passengers:

Teen passengers in a vehicle can distract a beginning driver and/or lead to greater risktaking. About 6 of every 10 teenage passenger deaths occur in crashes with teen drivers.While night driving with passengers is particularly lethal, many fatal crashes with teen passengers occur during the day. The best policy is to restrict teen passengers, especially multiple teens, all the time.

Supervise practice driving:

Take an active role in helping your teenager learn to drive. Plan a series of practice sessions in a wide variety of situations, including night driving. Give beginners time to work up to challenges like driving in heavy traffic or on the freeway. Supervised practice should be spread over at least 6 months and continue even after a teenager graduates from a learnerís permit to a restricted or full license.

Remember that youíre a role model: New drivers learn a lot by example, so practice safe driving. Teens with crashes and violations often have parents with poor driving records.

Require safety belt use:

Donít assume that belt use when youíre in the car with your 16 year-old means a belt will be used when your child is driving alone or out with peers. Insist on using belts all the time.
Prohibit driving after drinking. Make it clear that itís illegal and highly dangerous for a teenager to drive after drinking alcohol or using any other drug. While alcohol isnít a factor in most fatal crashes involving 16-year-old drivers, even small amounts of alcohol are impairing for teenagers.

Choose vehicles for safety, not image:

Teenagers should drive vehicles that reduce their chances of a crash and offer protection in case they do crash. For example, small cars donít offer the best protection in a crash. Avoid vehicles with performance images that might encourage speeding. Vehicles with the latest safety technologies, especially side airbags that protect peopleís heads and electronic stability control, are the best ones to choose.


Shippensburg Police Department  Phone - 717-532-7361  Fax - 717-532-2313        Last Modified :01/30/12 11:28 PM          Copyright 2008