Correlation Between the Number of Teen Passengers & Motor Vehicle Accident Rate

Connection between Teen Passengers & Motor Vehicle Accident RateTeenage Drivers with Teenage Passengers – A New Study

A study by AAA was released in May 2012 and it discussed the connection between teen drivers with other young passengers and fatal accidents. The study showed that the risk of fatal car accidents are dramatically increased when drivers of 16 or 17 have other teenage passengers. We can all understand why this would be true, the lack of concentration when driving isn’t quite second nature yet, and “trying to impress” can both attribute to this.

  • When a teen driver had a passenger in the car under 21 the chances of a fatal accidents is increased by 44%
  • When 2 or more teen passengers were present the risk doubled.
  • The risk of a fatality is quadrupled when 3 or more under 21’s are in the car.
  • 40 % of 16 to 17 year old drivers deaths in the years between 2000 and 2012 involved teen drivers and at least 1 other passenger of 21 years and younger.

When looking at the study data, it also showed that when a teen is driving with an adult over the age of 35, the chance of a fatal accident was decreased by 62%.

Reducing Teenage Deaths in Driving Accidents

State licensing agencies will not be surprised by this study and the stats it provides. From the 90’s states across America started to enact laws that aimed at reducing the number of passengers our younger drivers are allowed. Known as Graduated Driver Licensing Laws (GDL), they set out to restrict the young drivers from being in high risk situations, one of which was driving with younger passengers in the car. The different GLD laws have three stages to them

  • Learner
  • Intermediate
  • Full Privilege

As you work up the levels, they contain fewer restrictions to your driving.

  • 32 states restrict the use of or have bans on cell phones for novice drivers. So this includes any under 18’s or learners.
  • 45 states as well as Washington D.C have restrictions on passengers for anyone in the intermediate stage. A majority of the states say that for the first 6 months to a year of driving you cannot have any passengers under the age of 21.
  • Night time driving is restricted in 48 states and Washington D.C for the intermediate stage and new drivers.

As more focus is put upon teenage drivers and possible distractions, and the new GDL laws that are being made there is hope that teen deaths while driving will be reduced. New drivers need time to become better drivers and help reduce the statistics of fatal auto accidents. Parents can help by encouraging their teens to not drive in groups and to become more focused on their driving.

For additional resources related to teen driving safety: