Study Shows Teen Drivers Face Higher Fatality Risks

Teen drivers are more likely to get in a fatal accident if other teens are in the car — according to a new driving study released today. The study shows the risk of fatalities increases for every additional teen in the vehicle.


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The study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows a strong correlation between the number of teens in a vehicle and the risk of a fatal traffic accident.

Doug Shupe with AAA Texas says they looked at crash data from 16 and 17 year old drivers.

“What this study found was that the likelihood of a 16 or 17-year-old driver being killed in a crash, per mile driven, increases with each additional young passenger that’s in the vehicle.”

So with one other young passenger, the risk of a fatal crash goes up by 44 percent. The risk doubles with two passengers and quadruples when three or more passengers are in the car.

“This time of year is especially important to talk with teens about this study, but also about driving safely in general. As summer approaches, many teens will be out of school and they could end up riding around with other teens who are not as experienced behind the wheel.”

Although teens are at greater risk when driving with other teens, the study shows the risk of a fatality decreases by 62 percent if an adult over the age of 35 is in the vehicle. Shupe says parents should spend more time as a passenger in the car and help their teen gain good driving experience.

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Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

News Director

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez leads news coverage for Houston Public Media across broadcast and digital platforms. Ramirez is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Before becoming News Director, Ramirez held the position of Executive Producer for Daily News, leading daily and breaking news coverage, helping...

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