Someone OTHER Than Teen Driver More Likely to Die in Fatal Crash
AAA Foundation: Teen Drivers with Teen Passengers Sharply Increase Risk of Fatality
PHILADELPHIA, PA (October 22, 2018) This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 21-27) and 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.
“This research illustrates the importance of parental engagement with their teen drivers and the importance of enforcing Pennsylvania’s Graduated Licensing Program, which limits the age of a teen driver’s passengers while they have their learner’s permit,” says Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “These are lifesaving measures.”
Everyone is at Risk…in Pennsylvania
The Foundation’s analysis of Pennsylvania crash data determined that in 2016, teen drivers were involved in crashes that resulted in 103 fatalities – almost two-thirds (63.2%) resulting in the death of someone other than the teen driver – including the deaths of 19 teen passengers, 35 occupants of other vehicles, and 11 pedestrians or cyclists.
In Neighboring States:
- New Jersey – 47 fatalities, 74.5 percent of those fatalities were someone other than the teen driver.
- Delaware – eight fatalities, 100 percent of those fatalities were someone other than the teen driver.
“AAA 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. These conversations make a difference,” Tidwell added.
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).
- Allow no more than one non-family passenger under the age of 20 to ride with the teen driver during the first six months of driving.
- 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 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.
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.
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