A new report from a motor club finds teen drivers in Iowa are much more likely to be involved in deadly crashes if they have another teen riding along in the car. Rose White, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says the statistics from 2005 to 2010 are startling and emphasize the need for more training and discipline for younger drivers. “The prevalence of risky behaviors generally grew for 16 and 17-year-old drivers as the number of teen passengers increased,” White says. “Among 16 and 17-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes, it showed the prevalence of speeding increased from 30% to 44% just with another additional passenger in the vehicle.”
The study found the risk of death doubled with two teen passengers and quadrupled with three or more passengers. White says about one-third of all fatal crashes are caused by speeding, but for teen drivers, it’s nearly half. “Drivers aged 16 to 17 are involved in about seven times as many crashes per mile driven compared to drivers in their 40s, 50s or 60s,” she says.
In Iowa, teens between the ages of 14 and 19 have a higher death rate in crashes than any other age group. White urges Iowa parents to get involved in the driving process, especially during the early driving years, and to restrict the number of passengers allowed inside the vehicle. “In 2011, teenage drivers were involved in 21-percent of all crashes while only representing 7.3-percent of the driving population,” White says.
The study found teen drivers were also involved in 25-percent of all nighttime crashes, while in accidents where speeding was a factor, they were involved in 33-percent of all crashes. This is National Teen Driver Safety Week.