The report shows a teen driver, aged 16 or 17, with one teen passenger increases the accident rate by 44 percent. If there are two teen passengers, the rate doubles. And, it quadruples when there are three or more teen passengers. This is compared to driving with no passengers.
Not surprisingly, teens carrying at least one passenger 35 or older cut the driver’s risk of death by 62 percent and risk of being in a police-reported crash by 46 percent.
“We know that carrying young passengers is a huge risk,” said AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety President and CEO Peter Kissinger. “These findings should send a clear message to families that parents can make their teens safer by refusing to allow them to get in the car with other young people, whether they’re behind the wheel or in the passenger seat.”
Given the significant decrease in risk seen when adults 35 and older were present, parents can also help protect new teen drivers by spending more time in the car with them.
What can you do to keep yourself and your friends safe?
- Know your state’s graduated driver license laws. Many states set passenger limits.
- Stay out of cars that have teen passengers.
- Limit your own passengers.
- Ask a parent or adult to drive you and your friends.
- Let your friends know of this danger.
- Get plenty of driving practice with an adult.