A study released this week offers further evidence that graduated licenses for young drivers are a good idea. Researchers with AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety found that the risk of a teenage driver dying in an accident increases significantly when other teens are in the car. Compared with driving with no passengers, a 16- or 17-year-old driver’s risk of death per mile driven jumps by 44 percent when carrying one passenger younger than 21. The risk doubles when carrying two passengers younger than 21. Oklahoma’s graduated license law says teenage drivers can have only one other teen in the vehicle unless someone 21 or older is along for the ride. Given this new study, parents may want to demand that their children keep passengers to a minimum even when the restrictions expire six months after a license is issued.
Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman Archives