Teen Passengers and Drivers a Deadly Mix

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Teen Passengers and Drivers a Deadly Mix

A new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety find that teen driving gets riskier when teen passengers are in the car.

The study showed that 9,578 16- and 17-year-old drivers were involved in fatal crashes between 2005 to 2010, and nearly 4,000 of those had at least one teen passenger.

"This much is certain: mixing teen drivers with teen passengers is simply toxic," said AAA Mid-Atlantic's John Townsend in a statement. "It is imperative that in order to avoid these types of tragedies that parents and guardians set and consistently enforce family rules that limit newly licensed teens from driving with other passengers unless they are adults serving in a supervisory capacity. Newly licensed teen drivers need to be concentrating solely on the rules of the road, not distracted by their fellow teen passengers."

Teen drivers were speeding in 30 percent of fatal crashes, but that number went up to 48 percent when three or more teen passengers were also in the car, AAA said.

Late-night driving and alcohol use rates also went up with more teen passengers.

The data adds to a May report from AAA that showed that 16- and 17-year-old drivers involved in crashes were 44 percent more likely to die if they were with one passenger younger than 21, and twice as likely to die if they had two passengers under that age.

Source: Washington Examiner