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 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.

“Strong coaching and diversity in practice driving sessions are key when teens have their learners permit.  And, once teens have their license, consistent parental involvement is essential,” White said.
Nebraska Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws cover teens ages 14 to 17.  A teen driver must hold a Provisional Operator Permit license for one year before receiving an unrestricted license.  Nebraska’s GDL restrictions include:
Cell Phones – No use of any type of interactive wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle while in motion.  Violation carries a $200 fine for first offense and assessed points on license.  Second offense is $300 fine and a third offense is $500.
Seat Belts – All occupants riding with a permit holder, including the driver, must wear a seat belt.  Violation carries a $25 fine.  Citation issued to GDL permit holder.
Nighttime Driving – Holder of a Provisional Operator Permit (POP) shall not drive from midnight to 6 am unless to or from school activities or work.  Violation carries a one point assessment on driving record.
Alcohol -  Zero tolerance for drivers under the age of 21.  First offense results in court impounding permit or license for 30 days.  A driver under 21 is subject to the same DUI laws as a person age 21 or over if the blood alcohol content is .08 (BAC) or greater.
In Nebraska, violation of any driving restrictions can result in a suspended or revoked license.  Individuals under age 21 accumulating six or more points within one year are required to take a driver improvement course within three months.
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
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
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.
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.6 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 59 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at Visit AAA on the Internet at

In 2017, Nebraska teen drivers ages 15-19 were involved in 3,071 motor vehicle crashes which resulted in 30 fatalities and 3,041 injuries.
Teen drivers ages 19 & younger represent 7.3% of all licensed drivers in Nebraska; includes all Learner’s Permits (LPD), School Permits (SCP), and Provisional Operator’s Permits (POP).
In 2017, 72.7% of the 22 teen traffic fatalities (drivers and passengers, ages 13 -19) were NOT wearing seat belts.
21% of all reported crashes
20% of crashes between 9 p.m. and midnight
15% of crashes between midnight and 3 a.m.
23% of crashes using a cell phone
37% of “exceeding the speed limit” crashes
17% of “failure to yield” crashes
24% of all single-vehicle rollover crashes
22% of crashes due to “road conditions” which were wet and/or snowy
26% of “speed too fast for conditions” crashes
26% of rear-end type collisions
11% of alcohol-involved crashes
*Nebraska Teen Driver Facts provided by the Nebraska Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office