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Young passengers increase motor vehicle fatality risk: report

May 23, 2012

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Washington – The likelihood of a 16- or 17-year-old driver being killed in a motor vehicle crash increases with each additional young passenger in the vehicle, according to a report (.pdf file) from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Researchers analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System from 2007 to 2010 and found that the fatality risk for 16- and 17-year-old drivers increased 44 percent when one passenger younger than 21 (and no older passengers) was in the car, doubled when two passengers younger than 21 were in the car, and quadrupled when three or more young passengers were in the car.

Driving with at least one passenger 35 or older reduced the risk of a teen driver death by 62 percent and decreased the risk of being involved in any crash by 46 percent, the report concluded.

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