Parents of teens encouraged to accept and enforce passenger restrictions
18 October 2018
Professional Quality B-roll (teen-driver + passenger shots at 1:36-1:47)
Omaha, NE. (October 18, 2018) – Teen drivers increase the risk for everyone on the roadway, especially if they are bringing teen passengers along for the ride. New research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that when a teen driver has only teen passengers in their vehicle, the fatality rate for all people involved in a crash increased 51 percent. In contrast, when older passengers (35 or older) ride with a teen driver, overall fatality rates in crashes decreased eight percent.
Considering the high risk created by a combination of teen drivers and teen passengers, AAA encourages Nebraska parents to accept – and help enforce - the passenger restrictions when their teen applies for a School Permit, Learner’s Permit, or Provisional Operator Permit (POP) driver’s license. In Nebraska, a teen with a School Permit (SCP) may only transport family members who reside with them to the school attended by the holder. A holder of a Provisional Operator Permit (POP) is limited to one passenger younger than 19 who is not an immediate family member, for the first 6 months.
In 2016, teen drivers across the country were involved in more than 1 million police-reported crashes resulting in more than 3,200 deaths. Researchers pinpointed that when teens were carrying teen passengers, fatality rates jumped:
- 56 percent for occupants of other vehicles
- 45 percent for the teen driver
- 17 percent for pedestrians and cyclists
“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 study also found the fatality rate of a teen-driver related crash increased when factors like speeding or driving at night, were introduced.”
“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 Rose White, director of public affairs for AAA. “Parents of teens must take this rite of passage seriously by setting and consistently enforcing rules to limit teenage passengers in the vehicle. 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. Tips include:
- 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.