Characteristics of Fatal Crashes Involving 16- and 17-Year-Old Drivers with Teenage Passengers
Several studies have found that the presence of teenage passengers increases the crash risk of teenage drivers. Most U.S. states now have graduated driver licensing systems that limit the number of passengers that a young driver is allowed to carry in the vehicle during the first several months of licensed independent driving. The objective of this study was to document the proportion of fatal crashes of 16- and 17-year-old drivers in which passengers were present in relation to the age, sex, and number of passengers in the vehicle, and to examine the characteristics of these crashes in relation to specific combinations of passengers. State-by-state summary data are also provided.
Data on fatal crashes that occurred in the United States from 2005 through 2010 and involved a 16- or 17-year-old driver of a passenger vehicle (car, pickup truck, van, minivan, or sport utility vehicle) were analyzed. Crashes that occurred in the state of Virginia were excluded due to evident under-reporting of the presence of passengers who were not injured.