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​Everyday Driving Skills

This section begins by highlighting the particular causes of crashes and major crash types among new drivers in Pennsylvania. The safe-driving skills listed below are described in this section:

Teen Crash Fact

For 2017, 7.2 percent of all 16-year-old Pennsylvania drivers were in reportable crashes in Pennsylvania.

Most crashes result from human error. Either the driver fails to understand how to use the vehicle or the highway system is not paying enough attention to signs, signals, pavement markings or to the actions of other drivers; or makes poor decisions. Drivers with less than five years of experience are most likely to make errors that lead to crashes.

A review of the top 10 reasons new drivers in Pennsylvania (16- and 17-year-olds) ended up in crashes in 2017 is shown below. Young drivers and all drivers should be aware of these critical factors:

  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Proceeding without clearance after stopping
  • Improper or careless turning
  • Improper driving
  • Inexperience
  • Tailgating
  • Speeding
  • Over or under compensating at a curve
  • Distractions
  • Sudden slowing or stopping

The major types of crashes in which new drivers (16- and 17-year-olds) in Pennsylvania are involved include:

  1. Hitting a stationary object;
  2. Crashes where roads intersect, like driveways, entrance ramps, and in intersections;
  3. Rear-end collisions; and
  4. Head-on collisions.

About 92 percent of all crashes and 93 percent of the deaths resulting from crashes are associated with just these four crash types. Avoiding vehicle crashes depends on learning and applying the safe-driving skills that are the subject of this chapter.