AAA has released new research that found that when a teen driver has another teen passenger in the car, the fatality rate for all people involved in the crash increases 51 percent.
In 2016, teen drivers (16-19 years old) were involved in an estimated 1,053,000 crashes involving nearly 2,864,000 individuals. In these crashes, there were 3,270 fatalities. Therefore, in 2016, for every 10,000 individuals involved in a crash with a teen driver, 11.4 were fatally injured, according to the report.
Researchers pinpointed that when teens were carrying teen passengers, fatality rates jumped:
- 56 percent for occupants of other vehicles
- 45 percent for the teen driver
- 17 percent for pedestrians and cyclists
In contrast, when older passengers (35 or older) ride with a teen driver, overall fatality rates in crashes decreased eight percent. Considering the increased risk created by a combination of teen drivers and teen passengers, AAA emphasizes the need for teen drivers to gain adequate supervised training, especially in different driving scenarios, before taking what could be a fatal drive.
“This analysis shows that in crashes where teen drivers are behind the wheel with a teen passenger, a larger portion of those killed are other road users,” said David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “This study also found the fatality rate of a teen-driver related crash increased when factors like speeding or driving at night were introduced.”
Added Jennifer Ryan, director of AAA State Relations, “Teens simply lack experience behind the wheel, which increases the odds of a deadly outcome, not just for the teen driver, but for their passengers and others on the roadways. Parents of teens must take this rite of passage seriously by setting and consistently enforcing rules to limit teenage passengers in the vehicle.”