Christine Delise
Sr. Public Relations Specialist, MD
O: (410) 616-1900 (ext. 4361153)
C: (443) 244-7253
cdelise@aaamidatlantic.com

TOWSON, MD (October 18, 2018) – 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.

 

In contrast, when a teen driver has only older passengers (35 and over) in the vehicle, the overall fatality rates in crashes decreased eight 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.

 

Considering the increased risk created by a combination of teen drivers and teen passengers, AAA Mid-Atlantic emphasizes the need for teen drivers to gain adequate supervised training, especially in different driving scenarios, before taking what could be a fatal drive.

 

“Teens lack the experience of a seasoned driver, which increases the odds of a deadly outcome while behind the wheel, not just for the teen driver, but for their passengers and others on the roadways,” said Christine Sarames Delise, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

 

The auto club also encourages parents to limit the number of teens traveling with their teen driver beyond the requirements of Maryland’s Graduated Drivers Licensing Law. In Maryland, teen drivers, under the age of 18 with a provisional license, may not drive with passengers under 18, except for immediate family members, for the first 151 days of licensure, unless there is a supervising driver who is at least 21 years old and has three years of driving experience.

 

“Parents of teens must take this rite of passage seriously by setting and consistently enforcing rules to limit teenage passengers in the vehicle,” added Delise

 

Everyone is at Risk…in Maryland

The Foundation’s analysis of 2016 Maryland crash data determined that teen drivers involved in fatal crashes resulted in 33 fatalities with nearly 76 percent of those deaths of someone other than the teen driver. 

 

2016 Fatalities in Crashes Involving Maryland Teen Drivers

 

Teen Drivers

Passengers of Teen Drivers

Occupants of Other Vehicles

Pedestrians and Cyclists

Other

Total

Number of Fatalities

8

9

10

6

0

33

% of Total Fatalities

24.2%

27.3%

30.3%

18.2%

0.0%

100%

 

“AAA Mid-Atlantic encourages parents not only to drive with their teens but also 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 Delise. “These conversations make a difference.”

 

Supervised driving – with parents in the passenger seat as the coach – is the first step to teaching teens how to become responsible and safe drivers. AAA offers a multitude of resources at TeenDriving.AAA.com to help coach teen drivers, in addition to these tips:

  • Require teens to log at least 100 hours of supervised practice driving with a parent before driving solo.

  • Begin by practicing driving in low-risk situations and gradually move to situations that are more complex: highways, nighttime, driving in the rain, and on and around challenging roadways (e.g., curves). 

  • Use slightly different routes each practice session.

  • Practice adjusting speed based on three factors: visibility, on-road traffic and different road conditions.

Other AAA resources available for parents include the StartSmart Online Parent session to coach their teen through the learning-to-drive process and Teaching Your Teen to Drive, a one-hour live action DVD and illustrated in-car handbook that parents can use to support supervised driving lessons. These and other parent/teen resources are available on TeenDriving.AAA.com.

 

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.

 

About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit www.AAAFoundation.org.

 

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Mailing Address:
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Towson, MD 21286

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than 937,000 members in Maryland.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information, visit AAA.com.

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