CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois already has restrictions for new drivers, preventing them from having more than one non-family member in the car for the first year they’re on the road.
If you’re a parent, you might want to consider an even tougher stance. A new study shows teens nearly double their risk of being involved in a deadly accident if other teenagers are in the car.
New research from AAA shows just how dangerous it can be when teens are driving with other teens.
The death rate jumps to 56 percent for people in the other vehicles, 45 percent for the teen driver, and 17 percent for pedestrians and cyclists.
“We know teens are more likely to engage in risky behavior. They are often more likely to speed. They’re more likely to interact with their cell phones,” says AAA Spokesperson Jennifer Ryan.
Ryan says that is why parents need to set a good example while they are driving, and discuss the dangers of distracted driving with their teen.
“We also encourage parents and teens to set what’s called a parent-teen driving agreement. It’s a contract between a parent and a teen, and they develop it together, and they set out what the rules are for their family and then the consequences if the rules are broken,” says Ryan.
Ryan has a daughter who just received her learners permit. Sixteen-year-old Natalie says when she is a passenger and another teen is behind the wheel, she follows the rules her mom laid out.
“Before we got in the car, I made sure that my friend knew to put her phone away. Everyone needed to put on their seatbelts. We didn’t blast any music,” says Natalie.
AAA recommends once teens have a license, parents should limit passengers to just one other teen for the first six months of driving.
In 2016, teen drivers were involved in more than 1 million police-reported crashes; 3,200 teens died.