Sentinel-Echo.com

Community News Network

September 26, 2013

Teenage drivers with teen passengers more likely to die in accidents

WASHINGTON — When a novice teen driver dies in a crash, odds increasingly are that there is another teenager in the car, new research shows.

For more than a decade, states have been imposing restrictions on teenage drivers that likely deserve credit for an overall decline in teenage traffic fatalities. But a study released Thursday shows that 15- to 17-year-old drivers are almost eight times more likely to get into a fatal accident while carrying two or more teenage passengers.

The analysis of 10 years of national traffic data notes that the 30 percent increase in deaths when other teens are present came at "the same time text messaging exploded in American society."

"We can't scientifically state that there's a direct link between these two things yet, but it seems reasonable to suspect a connection," said Russell Henk, a researcher at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) who wrote the study.

Drivers age 19 and under are three times more likely to die in accidents, and traffic fatalities are the leading cause of death in that age group.

From 2002 to 2011, the number of novice teenage drivers in fatal accidents dropped by 60 percent, but the percentage of fatalities that occurred when other teenagers were in the vehicle increased each year.

The District of Columbia and 47 states have adopted graduated licensing programs that put specific requirements on teenage drivers, including a restriction on the number of passengers they can carry. All states except Vermont and Nevada limit teen driving overnight.

(begin optional trim)

Virginia, for example, permits no passengers under age 18 for the first year. Maryland allows no passengers under the age of 18 for the first five months. All three Washington area jurisdictions ban cellphone use by novice teenage drivers, as do 35 other states, and texting by all drivers is outlawed in the District, Maryland and Virginia.

Text Only
Community News Network
Facebook
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results