Online Auto Insurance: Study Shows Need to Limit Teens' Passengers

May 10, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
A recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety links the age of passengers in cars driven by a teen to their crash and fatality risks, emphasizing the critical role parents have in making driving safer for young motorists by just being in the car with them or enforcing passenger restrictions, according to Online Auto Insurance.

A 16- or 17-year-old driver with one passenger younger than 21 years old is 44 percent more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than when there are no passengers, researchers found, but the likelihood of a fatality fell 62 percent with an adult passenger aged 35 or older in the car.

Consumers trying to find teen auto insurance at cheap prices will find that it is no easy task. Research has shown that teenagers can be heavily affected by distractions like electronic devices and passengers in the car, and it contributes to their overall reputation of taking dangerous and unnecessary risks while behind the wheel.

Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that teenagers are the age group most likely to read or send a text behind the wheel, most likely to be involved in a fatal crash and least likely to wear seat belts. Other NHTSA research, released last month, showed that 18- to 24-year-old passengers were the age group least likely to speak up when a driver is distracted behind the wheel.


The AAA study also showed that adding more young passengers to a car means higher fatality risk. The risk of being killed in a crash doubles for teenage drivers carrying two passengers under 21 years old and almost quadruples with three or more passengers under 21 years old.

"We know that carrying young passengers is a huge risk, but it's also a preventable one," AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety president and CEO Peter Kissinger said in a statement. "These findings should send a clear message to families that parents can make their teens safer immediately by refusing to allow them to get in the car with other young people, whether they're behind the wheel or in the passenger seat."

Meanwhile, having an adult aged 35 or older in a car decreases the risk of being involved in any crash-not necessarily a fatal one-by 46 percent.

OAI backs recommendations made by AAA in its report that parents not only limit the number and age of passengers in their teenager's car, but also consider being in the car themselves as much as possible.

"Parents clearly can play a major role in protecting their teenagers by riding with their teens, even after licensure, to continue to support the development of safe driving habits," the report stated.

The study was released this week, kicking off a month that will see more teens take the road during prom and graduation season. May is also designated National Youth Traffic Safety Month.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety also released a study last month that delved into distracted driving among teens and found that girls were the most likely to use electronic devices behind the wheel.

Both studies are available on the foundation's website.

For more on this and related insurance issues, head to for access to an easy-to-use quote-comparison generator and informative resource pages.