New Research Shows Someone Other Than Teen Driver More Likely to Die in Fatal Crash

National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 21-27.

TOWSON, MD  – As National Teen Driver Safety Week (Oct 21-27) kicks off Sunday, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety underscores that when a teen is behind the wheel, everyone is at greater risk, especially when other teens are along for the ride.

AAA Foundation’s analysis of 2016 crash data determined that when a teen driver has only teen passengers in their vehicle, the fatality rate for all people involved in a crash, including other motorists, pedestrians and cyclists, increased more than 50 percent.

In contrast, when a teen driver has only older passengers (35 and over) in the vehicle, the overall fatality rates in crashes decreased eight percent.

“This analysis shows that in crashes where teen drivers are behind the wheel with a teen passenger, a larger portion of those killed are other road users,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Considering the increased risk created by a combination of teen drivers and teen passengers, AAA Mid-Atlantic emphasizes the need for teen drivers to gain adequate supervised training, especially in different driving scenarios, before taking what could be a fatal drive.

“Teens lack the experience of a seasoned driver, which increases the odds of a deadly outcome while behind the wheel, not just for the teen driver, but for their passengers and others on the roadways,” said Christine Sarames Delise, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

The auto club also encourages parents to limit the number of teens traveling with their teen driver beyond the requirements of Maryland’s Graduated Drivers Licensing Law. In Maryland, teen drivers, under the age of 18 with a provisional license, may not drive with passengers under 18, except for immediate family members, for the first 151 days of licensure, unless there is a qualified supervising driver who is at least 21 years old and has three years of driving experience.

“Parents of teens must take this rite of passage seriously by setting and consistently enforcing rules to limit teenage passengers in the vehicle,” added Delise

Everyone is at Risk…in Maryland
The Foundation’s analysis of 2016 Maryland crash data determined that teen drivers involved in fatal crashes resulted in 33 fatalities with nearly 76 percent of those deaths of someone other than the teen driver.

2016 Fatalities in Crashes Involving Maryland Teen Drivers

Teen Drivers

Passengers of Teen Drivers

Occupants of Other Vehicles

Pedestrians and Cyclists



Number of Fatalities







% of Total Fatalities







“AAA Mid-Atlantic encourages parents not only to drive with their teens but also to talk to their teens about the dangers of distraction, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and speeding, all of which increase the risk of a crash,” added Delise. “These conversations make a difference.”

Supervised driving – with parents in the passenger seat as the coach – is the first step to teaching teens how to become responsible and safe drivers. AAA offers a multitude of resources at to help coach teen drivers, in addition to these tips:

  • Require teens to log at least 100 hours of supervised practice driving with a parent before driving solo.
  • Begin by practicing driving in low-risk situations and gradually move to situations that are more complex: highways, nighttime, driving in the rain, and on and around challenging roadways (e.g., curves).
  • Use slightly different routes each practice session.
  • Practice adjusting speed based on three factors: visibility, on-road traffic and different road conditions.