Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There’s an alarming report about teens behind the wheel. It finds teen drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash if they’ve got other teens in their car.
Meghan McCorkell has more on this disturbing statistic.
That study by AAA finds having friends in the car can be a deadly distraction for young drivers.
A teen couple driving home from prom was killed in Williamsport this weekend. Police say the driver, 17-year-old Brendan Colliflower, was speeding.
“They had a bet with another group or another couple that they would get to the house faster than them,” said Heather Prince.
In January, Britney Walker, 19, drove the wrong way down Route 97 in Anne Arundel County. She crashed head-on into another car, killing herself and two teen passengers.
Best friends John Deckman and Jeff Giles both died in a wreck late last year. The Howard County teens were passengers in a car with a speeding teen driver.
“Crashes on the roads remain the number one cause of death for young drivers,” said Ragina Averella, AAA.
Now a new study shows friends inside a car can be a deadly distraction for teens.
“If you have two passengers in the car with a 16-year-old or 17-year-old, overall the risk of being involved in a fatal crash doubled,” Averella said.
If there are three or more teen passengers, drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash. On the flip side, if an adult age 35 or over is in the car with a teen driver, the risk of death decreases by 62 percent.
AAA is now urging parents to limit the number of friends inside their teen’s car before a tragedy like this one strikes again.
“I think people are going to take driving a little more seriously now,” said Prince.
In Maryland, teen drivers are forbidden to carry any passengers under the age of 18, excluding family members, for the first 151 days with their license.
AAA warns summer is the deadliest season for teen drivers.