Someone OTHER Than Teen Driver More Likely to Die in Fatal Crash
AAA Foundation: Teen Drivers with Teen Passengers Sharply Increase Risk of Fatality
Hamilton, NJ, October 18,2018 - As we approach National Teen Driver Safety Week (Oct 21-27), 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 Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
“This research illustrates the importance of parental engagement with their teen drivers and the importance of enforcing New Jersey’s Graduated Drivers Licensing law, which limits teen passengers for young drivers,” added Noble, “These are lifesaving measures”.
Everyone is at Risk…in New Jersey
The Foundation’s analysis of New Jersey crash data determined that in 2016, teen drivers were involved in 47 fatalities – most of them (74.5%) resulting in the death of someone other than the teen driver – including the deaths of 9 teen passengers, 16 occupants of other vehicles and 10 pedestrians or cyclists.
New Jersey’s current Graduated Driver License (GDL) law does not address the steps necessary to build a solid driving foundation, however two bills making their way through the legislature A-4108 and S-335 would expand supervised driving requirements, increasing the permit phase to one year and would create mandated practice hours (including 10 nighttime hours). A recent poll of 600 New Jersey motorists found that 82 percent support requiring 50 practice hours. Currently New Jersey is one of only four states without mandated practice hours.
“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”, Noble said.
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 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.