Not only are teens themselves more likely to die in car crashes, they also have the highest rates of crash involvement resulting in the deaths of others, including passengers, pedestrians or occupants of other vehicles, AAA stated.
Moreover, risk increases "exponentially" with the addition of each younger passenger in a car driven by a 16- or 17-year-old. Compared with a 62 percent risk reduction when one passenger age 35 or older is in a teen driver's car, the risk of being killed increases 44 percent with just one passenger younger than 21; it doubles with two passengers under 21; and quadruples with three or more passenger under 21.
To help keep young drivers — as well as their passengers, other motorists and bystanders — safe this summer, the Insurance Information Institute advises the following precautions:
- Choose a safe car for your teen that's easy to drive and offers protection in a crash — avoid small cars, large SUVs and those with high-performance trims.
- Enroll teens in a driver-education course and safe-driver program, which will better prepare them for challenging situations on the road. These programs inform teens of the responsibilities and consequences of driving, and possibly earn them an insurance discount.
- Discuss the dangers of talking or texting on cellphones while driving, as well as drug and alcohol use, and develop a plan for getting home if they encounter an impaired-driving situation.
- Be a good role model. Remember: If you drive recklessly, your teen likely will imitate you.