AAA: Added teen passengers hike risks for teen drivers
Washington, D.C, United States (AHN) – A new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds a strong connection between the number and ages of passengers in a car driven by a teenager and the risks of that driver being involved in a fatal car accident.
The report, “Teen Driver Risk in Relation to Age and Number of Passengers,” found that the likelihood of a 16- or 17-year-old driver being killed in a crash, per mile driven, increases with each additional young passenger in the car.
Among the findings, the risk increases 44 percent when carrying one passenger younger than 21; doubles when carrying two passengers younger than 21 and quadruples when carrying three or more passengers younger than 21.
The study notes that when a teen is driving with one passenger 35 or older, the teen driver’s risk of death is reduced by 62 percent, and the risk of involvement in any police-reported crash is cut by 46 percent, underscoring the protective influence that parents and other adults have in the car.
AAA CEO Peter Kissinger said in a statement, ‘We know that carrying young passengers is a huge risk, but it’s also a preventable one. These findings should send a clear message to families that parents can make their teens safer immediately by refusing to allow them to get into the car with other young people, whether they’re behind the wheel or in the passenger seat.”