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If you're the parent of a teenage driver, your biggest fear may be letting your kid drive alone. But according to AAA, there's a bigger danger: letting your kid drive with other teens.
In advance of Teen Driver Safety Week (October 14 - 21), AAA has released some startling statistics uncovered by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The Foundation analyzed data from the 9,578 fatal crashes involving teens that took place between 2005 and 2010. The study focused on accidents involving 16- and 17-year-old drivers, since those are the least experienced on the road.
Combined with data from previous studies, AAA paints a grim picture for teenage drivers. Among the biggest takeaways:
And parents, don't think you're off the hook: although teen drivers clearly engage in riskier behavior when there are other teens in the car, you have a huge influence on their driving, too, even when you're not around. As we reported a couple of weeks ago, teens pick up most of their driving habits from watching their parents.
To address the problem of inexperienced teen drivers, AAA is pushing for graduated licencing programs in every state (even though some insist that such programs only postpone fatalities a few years). If you have a teenage driver of your own, AAA also recommends a visit to TeenDriving.AAA.com.
Parents, how have you addressed these issues with your kids? Share your tips in the comments below.