The latest news from AAA
Peer passengers add to teen safety risks
Research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that risky behavior by teen drivers (ages 16 and 17) grew as the number of teen passengers increased. With motor vehicle crashes ranking as the leading cause of death for teens, AAA Washington calls for greater parental involvement and stronger intermediate driver’s licensing legislation to promote road safety.
According to the data
The prevalance of speeding among teens with no other teens in the car was 30 percent. This rate jumped to 44 percent when teen drivers had two teen passengers and 48 percent with three or more other teens in the vehicle.
Similarly, the prevalence of late-night driving (11 p.m. to 5 a.m.) increased from 17 percent with no other teens in the car to 22 percent with two teen passengers and 28 percent with three or more teen passengers.
The prevalence of alcohol use also increased—from 13 percent with no other teens in the vehicle to 17 percent with two teens in the vehicle and 18 percent with three or more teen passengers.
“Mixing young drivers with teen passengers can have dangerous consequences,” says Dave Overstreet, public affairs director for AAA Washington. “AAA urges parents to set and consistently enforce family rules that limit newly licensed teens from driving with young passengers.”
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety analyzed data on fatal crashes that occurred in the United States from 2005 through 2010. The report documents the prevalence of passengers ages 13-19 in fatal crashes involving drivers age 16 and 17, and examines the characteristics of those crashes according to age, gender and number of teen passengers present.
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