Dangerous Driving Trends

Teens driving teens leads to fatal car crashes, new study says

Teens driving teens leads to fatal car crashes, new study stays

A new study from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute shows teen drivers are about eight times more likely than young adult drivers to have a fatal crash if teen passengers are present.

The study compared national data from drivers age 15 to 17 to those age 18 to 24 and found that the risk for teens has increased 30 percent in the past decade. 

 The study compared national data from drivers age 15 to 17 to those age 18 to 24 and found that the risk for teens has increased 30 percent in the past decade.

“Total teen fatal crashes per year declined, but the relative risk for young drivers carrying teen passengers actually increased substantially — at this same time, text messaging exploded in American society,” study author Russell Henk said in a statement.

“We can’t scientifically state that there’s a direct link between those two things yet, but it seems reasonable to suspect a connection.” 

State laws have already attempted to address the growing problem. In Texas, drivers under age 18 may not carry more than one passenger under age 21 during the first year of driving (except for family members). Most other states have similar or more stringent passenger restrictions.

Texas state law also prohibits those age 17 and younger from texting or talking on cell phones. But the National Safety Council tells us what we already know: More than half of teen drivers admit to talking behind the wheel, and a third cop to texting.

The tragic consequences of irresponsible teen driving are still on full display in Fort Worth, where a high-profile crash in June left four people dead. The 16-year-old driver had seven other teens in his truck when he barreled into a stranded vehicle in the 1500 block of Burelson-Retta Road. Alcohol and speeding are also alleged to be factors. The widow of one of the victims is suing the teen driver's parents.

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Fatal crashes are much more common for teen drivers than young adults.
It Can Wait Houston's anti-texting campaign Bellaire winning video girl texting and driving
In Texas, texting is illegal for drivers under the age of 18. Aman Narayan/YouTube
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