AAA report shows teen drivers frequently kill passengers, bystanders

| 1/20/2006

Inexperienced teenage drivers who get into wrecks aren’t just hurting themselves – they’re hurting those around them in alarming numbers, according to a new report.

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released “Teen Crashes – Everyone is At Risk.” In it, researchers found that about two-thirds of the victims in accidents involving underage drivers were passengers, pedestrians or passengers in other cars.

The study – which was conducted in cooperation with the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – found that drivers between the ages of 15 and 17 were behind the wheel in wrecks that killed close to 31,000 people, but that only one-third of those killed were the drivers themselves.

AAA has long advocated tougher licensing restrictions for minors behind the wheel. According to the study, the group is encouraging every state to step up its requirements, including a longer probationary licensing period, up to 50 hours of behind-the-wheel training and a ban on drivers carrying other teen passengers.