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Published on Jan 26, 2007 by Edgar Snyder

Teen Drivers Underestimate the Dangers

teen driving distractions

Teenagers are bombarded with the message that drinking and driving is dangerous, but are they also aware of other driver distractions that can be just as deadly? Research shows that a teen driver riding with one other passenger faces double the risk of a fatal car crash as a teen driver who drives alone. The risk increases to five times as likely for teen drivers with two or more passengers.

Other driver distractions include:

  • Using a cellphone
  • Passengers or a driver dancing or singing in car
  • Passengers drinking alcohol
  • Passengers urging the driver to speed
  • Passengers under the influence of drugs

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 to 20 year-olds, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of the nation’s 12.5 million young drivers, 12.6 % are involved in fatal crashes.

The National Transportation Safety Board urges states to limit the number of passengers that young drivers can carry, and move toward a graduated license system. That way, teenage drivers can gain their privileges with experience on the road.

Source: "Distractions challenge teen drivers." By Larry Copeland. USA Today. January 26, 2007.
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