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Office of Traffic Safety

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Teen Driving

Traffic Crashes — The Second Leading Cause of Death for Teens


Traffic crashes are the second leading cause of teen deaths in Minnesota teens. Each year, around 30 teens (ages 16–19) are killed on Minnesota roads. The leading cause of teen deaths is suicide.  

Teens are at greatest risk on the road due to inexperience, risk-taking behind the wheel, speeding and distracted driving. Teens also have the lowest seat belt use rate of all age groups.  

Due to inexperience, distractions and risk-taking, teens are one of the worst groups of drivers in Minnesota.  In 2020, teens (15-19) made up just 6 percent of all licensed drivers. Yet, they made up 16 percent of all drivers involved in traffic crashes.

  • In 2020, there were 39 teenage traffic deaths.
  • Teenagers make up 16 percent of all drivers involved in traffic crashes.
  • 80 percent of teen fatalities are the result of crashes involving at least one teen driver.
  • In 2020, only 54 percent of killed motor vehicle occupant teens (13-19) were known to be buckled up.
  • In 2020, 22 percent of all teen (15-19) drivers involved in fatal crashes were known to be drinking.
  • In 2020, 707 teen drivers (15-19) were arrested for DWI.


  • 46 people died in a crash involving a teen driver.

  • 1,172 people were seriously injured in a crash involving a teen driver.

  • 244 unbuckled teens died or were seriously injured in crashes. 

  • Speed contributed to 53 fatalities and 316 serious injuries in crashes involving a teen driver

  • Distracted driving contributed to 27 fatalities and 163 serious injuries in crashes involving a teen driver.

  • Alcohol contributed to 22 fatalities and 106 ​serious injuries in crashes involving a teen driver.

Point of Impact: Teen Driver Safety Parent Awareness Program

Updated videos are now available for communities and driver’s education schools to implement in the Point of Impact Program.

The class increases parent awareness of teen driving risks, Minnesota's teen driver laws, and the important role parents play in developing a safer teen driver.

The video, which is broken up into two parts, is meant as a replacement to the original video and should be used moving forward.

The videos, which can be previewed below, include a powerful testimonial from a Minnesota family who lost their teen son when he was behind the wheel and teen driving advice from Minnesota State Patrol troopers.

The videos should not be used as a replacement to the Point of Impact class

Please contact Kat Vue to obtain the updated Point of Impact power point and videos.​

The Department of Public Safety thanks you for all the hard work you put into the Point of Impact program and for teaching our teens the importance of driving smart. Together we can help save lives on Minnesota roads.



Is Your Teen Ready for the Road? 

​It takes a commitment by parents and many hours to prepare teen drivers to get behind the wheel. But that doesn’t end when a teen gets their license. 

A common mistake by parents is thinking their teen is ready for the road as soon as they pass the road test. For example, teens shouldn't be driving alone the first time they hit the road when it snows. Parents should practice with their teens in different types of scenarios before their teen hits the road solo.
In this video, Gordy Pehrson walks parents and teens through some tips on how you can help your teen driver be better behind the wheel. 


Teen Driver Safety Parent Awareness Programs 

Effective January 1, 2015, all Minnesota driver education providers (schools) must provide a “Supplemental Parental Curriculum” to any parent/guardian who chooses to receive it.

At a minimum, the supplemental parental curriculum must: 

  1. Be at least 90 minutes in length; 
  2. Be provided by or in the presence of a driver education instructor; and 
  3. Provide information concerning graduated driver licensing, safety risks associated with novice drivers, potential influence of adults on novice driver behaviors, and additional resources.

Parents/guardians should contact their local driver education providers (schools) to obtain information on upcoming parent awareness classes. 


Parents' Role in Developing Safe Teen Drivers — Laws, FAQs and Tips 

Learn more about what parents can do to keep teens safe on the road, such as: 


Supervised Driving Log 

Effective Jan. 1, 2015, every driver under the age of 18 who completed behind the wheel instruction and is testing for a provisional driver's license must submit a driving log showing the dates and lengths of drive time for each supervised trip. The supervised driving log must be signed by a parent or guardian. 


Teen License Parent Withdrawal Form 

The Teen License Parent Withdrawal Form is available for parents to cancel the driving privileges of their teen's driver's license (under age 18). 


Teen Crashes Have Predictable and Preventable Patterns: 

  • They are prone to making simple driving errors, often while speeding.
  • They are twice as likely to crash at night.
  • Crashes while driving to and from school, especially after school, and with other teens in the car is common.
  • Teen passengers increase distractions and promote risk-taking behaviors.​​​​