MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A new study of national crash statistics shows that teen drivers create a significant risk to everyone on the road when there’s even just one other teen in the young driver’s car.
The traffic safety nonprofit AAA analyzed national crash data from 2016 and found that when a teen driver has one or more teen passengers in their car, the fatality rate for all people involved in a potential crash increased 51 percent.
The most at risk were people in other vehicles, who had a fatality rate of 56 percent. The teen drivers themselves had a fatality rate of 45 percent.
“Teens simply lack experience behind the wheel, which increases the odds of a deadly outcome, not just for the teen driver, but for their passengers and others on the roadways,” said Nick Jarmusz, the director of public affairs for AAA, in a press release.
AAA says it’s important for parents to be aware of the increased risk and perhaps create rules around the kind and number of passengers their teens are allowed to have in their cars.
In Minnesota and Wisconsin, such rules are on of the law books.
In Minnesota, teen drivers are only allowed to have one passenger under 20 with them in the first 6 months after they get their license. During the second 6-month period, they are allowed to have no more than three passengers under the age of 20, unless they are traveling with a guardian.
In Wisconsin, drivers under 18 are not allowed to have more than one non-family passenger under 18 with them for the first 9 months after they receive their license.
The nonprofit advises parents to supervise teen drivers for at least 100 hours before letting them drive alone.