CINCINNATI, Oh. (October 18, 2018) – According to new data analyzed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic (AAAFTS) Safety, teens driving teens can increase the risk of death in a crash by 51 percent for everyone involved.
Ahead of National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 21-27), AAA is urging parents to be engaged during the dangerous learning-to-drive process to ensure teens are prepared when they get behind the wheel of a car.
New research from the AAAFTS found that the fatality rate for all people involved in a crash increased 51 percent when a teen driver has only teen passengers in their vehicle. In contrast, when older passengers (35 or older) ride with a teen driver, overall fatality rates in crashes decreased eight percent.
Considering the increased risk created by a combination of teen drivers and teen passengers, AAA emphasizes the need for teen drivers to gain adequate supervised training, especially in different driving scenarios, before taking what could be a fatal drive.
“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.”
Ohio fatal crash data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTSA) Administration underscores the importance of the passage of Ohio House Bill 293, “The Young Driver Protection Bill” to make Ohio roads safer and protect teen drivers.
In 2016, there were 115 fatalities on Ohio roads that involved a teen driver. The deaths included:
- 43 teen drivers (37.4%)
- 20 passengers of teen drivers (17.4%)
- 40 occupants of other vehicles (34.8%)
- 11 pedestrians/cyclists (9.6%)
- 1 other (.9%)
H.B. 293 would make two small but important adjustments to Ohio’s current licensing system:
- Lengthen the Temporary Instruction Permit phase from six to 12 months.
- Begin supervised nighttime driving protections for new teen drivers at 10 p.m., rather than midnight. (This is not a curfew – instead, supervised nighttime driving)
H.B. 293 passed out of the Ohio House Transportation and Public Safety committee on Feb. 28, 2018 and has been awaiting a hearing on the House Floor. The bill must pass the House and Senate by the end of the year in order to become law.
A coalition of more than 50 organizations, including the insurance industry, law enforcement, hospitals, teens, and the Parent Teacher Association, is urging lawmakers to take action and pass this life-saving legislation.
“AAA urges passage of House Bill 293 because 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 Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman. “Knowing the rules and basic skills are necessary, but it’s not enough for a beginner to do well. Practical experience is essential for novice drivers.”
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).
- Allow no more than one non-family passenger under the age of 20 to ride with the teen driver during the first six months of driving.
- 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,” Moore said.
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 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.
AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 59 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Ohio. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.