As National Teen Driver Safety Week (Oct 21-27) kicks off Sunday, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety underscores that when a teen is behind the wheel, everyone is at greater risk, especially when other teens are along for the ride
AAA Foundation's analysis of 2016 crash data determined that when a teen driver has only teen passengers in their vehicle, the fatality rate for all people involved in a crash, including other motorists, pedestrians and cyclists, increased more than 50 percent.
“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 Dr. 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.”
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.
“While your teenager may pass their road test, the parental driving role model continues. As your teen driver gains driving experience, ongoing adult supervision and guidance are key factors in making them safer drivers,” said Pat Moody, manager of public affairs for AAA Northern New England. “Education and supervised driving practice can help prevent teen driving deaths and injuries. Parents should strive to be a good role model in terms of driving behavior and understand and enforce teen driver passenger restriction laws that limit teenage passengers in the vehicle.”
Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont Teen Passenger Restriction Laws:
- Maine – Prohibits new teen drivers from carrying passengers other than immediate family members or a foreign exchange student living with the family unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 20 years of age. (for the first 270 days)
- New Hampshire – A Teen driver shall not operate a motor vehicle with more than one passenger less than 25 years of age who is not a member of the driver's family unless accompanied by a licensed, responsible adult who is at least 25 years of age during the first six (6) months holding the license.
- Vermont - For the first 3 months of licensure, teens may not drive with any passengers. During the next 3 months, teens may drive with family members. This passenger restriction does not apply if accompanied by a licensed parent or guardian, driver education instructor or an individual at least 25 years of age riding in the front seat.
“AAA Northern New England encourages parents periodically drive with newly licensed teens and to talk to their teens about the dangers of distraction, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and speeding, all of which increase the risk of a crash,” added Moody
AAA offers a multitude of resources at TeenDriving.AAA.com to help coach teen drivers. Download a parent teen driving agreement and set rules and expectations to help keep your teen safe during the high risk years.
About the study: Data used in the Everyone’s at Risk 2018 brief came from the 2016 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the Crash Report Sampling Survey System (CRSS). The FARS database includes all motor vehicle crashes on public roadways that resulted in a fatality within 30 days of crash. The CRSS database is a nationally representative probability sample of all police-reported crashed in the United States
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides 59 million members with travel, insurance, financial, and automotive-related services. Operating 19 offices throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, AAA Northern New England is a not-for-profit, fully tax-paying corporation and a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Today, AAA members benefit by roadside assistance, insurance products and services, travel agency, financial products, automotive pricing and buying programs, automotive testing and analysis, trip-planning services, and highway and transportation safety programs. Information about these products and services is available by visiting www.AAA.com.