Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young people ages 15-24 in South Carolina. Drivers in this age group have the highest crash rate and the highest rates of speeding, impaired driving, and distracted driving of any driver age group in the state. Although making up only 14.9% of licensed South Carolina drivers, young drivers were involved in 22.9% of fatal and severe injury crashes from 2008 to 2012.
From 2008 to 2012, 21% of all traffic fatalities involved a young driver aged 15-24. In that same time frame, young drivers were involved in 23% of all severe injury collisions.
Drivers aged 15-24 were involved in 27% of fatal speed-related collisions, compared to 17.5% of 30-39 year olds. Drivers aged 15-24 accounted for 23.5% of all drivers in driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (DUI) fatal collisions. Additional analysis of drivers involved in fatal DUI-related crashes revealed an alarming statistic: 7.6% of drivers in these crashes were aged 15-19, ages at which it is illegal for them to possess or consume alcohol.