NEW ORLEANS – A new study by AAA says teenagers behind the wheel put everyone on the roadway at an increased risk of a deadly crash, especially if there are other teens in their car.
A new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety looked at the number of deadly crashes in 2016 in Louisiana and across the United States.
The study found that when teens were driving with only other teen passengers, the fatality rates for all people involved in a crash increased by 51 percent. However, when teens are accompanied by passengers 35-years-old or older, overall fatality rates dropped by 8 percent.
AAA blames driving inexperience along with distractions from other teens in the car behind the statistics.
The study shows that teen drivers were involved in more than 1 million crashes in 2016, which resulted in more than 3200 deaths. That same year in Louisiana, teen drivers accounted for 69 deaths.
The organization is urging parents to supervise their children while driving and allow them to begin practicing in low-risk areas like parking lots before moving to more challenging roads like interstates or driving in the rain.
AAA also recommends not allowing more than one non-family member under the age of 20 to ride with your child during their first 6 months of driving. Another tip is to require your teen to log at least 100 hours of supervised practice driving before allowing them to hit the road by themselves.
WWL-TV reporter Meghan Kee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @MeghanKeeWWL