It should come as no surprise to Florida residents that teenage drivers are more likely to be involved in fatal car accidents. This is a well-documented fact. What may be news, however, are the recent results from a AAA study.
The study, the Foundation for Traffic Safety, analyzed federal fatality statistics. That data shows that the risk of being involved in a fatal crash multiplies depending upon the number of other teenagers riding in the vehicle as passengers.
According to the statistics, when 16 and 17-year-olds get behind the wheel with one passenger, their risk of getting into a fatal car crashes actually increases by almost half. If two teenage passengers are present, then the risk doubles. The risk quadruples when three or more passengers are in a vehicle with a teen driver behind the wheel.
This is not the first study that has raised concerns about teenage driving either. The Governors Highway Safety Association found an increase in the number of fatal crashes involving 16 and 17-year-olds. Also, in a study published last month by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers under the age of 24 were found to be more likely to text while driving.
Many parents already forbid their newly licensed children to drive with other teenagers in the car. Now parents will have support for those restrictions based on the AAA study. If having even just one passenger increases the risk of a fatal car crash, then it makes sense to prevent these crashes by protecting teenagers and refusing to allow them to drive in a vehicle with a teenage driver, or to get behind the wheel while passengers are in the car.
Source: The Washington Post, "Passengers increase chance of teen driver fatalities, AAA study finds," Ashley Halsey III, May 8, 2012