AAA Study Shows Risks Associated with Teenage Driving

The Automobile Association of America’s Foundation for Traffic Safety released a study earlier this week highlighting a number of shocking risks associated with teenage drivers. According to the study, released on Tuesday and posted on, teenagers who drive with their friends in their cars have been found to be far riskier than driving alone or with an adult. Based on government data that was collected on teen crashes from 2007 to 2010, a 16 or 17-year-old driver’s risk of death per mile driven increases 44 percent when carrying one passenger younger than 21 (and no older passengers) – when compared to driving with no passengers. The risk is doubled when carrying two passengers younger than 21, and quadruples when carrying three or more passengers under 21.

However, our Chicago accident attorneys learned that the risk of a teen driver dying in an accident when a passenger aged 35 or older is in the vehicle decreases 62 percent. In a statement released by the president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, it was revealed that “like cell phones, the presence of other teens can be extremely distracting to young drivers.” Additional statistics reveal that between 2000 and 2010, the number of 16 and 17-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes each year fell by more than half. Many attribute this dramatic decrease to graduated licensing laws – laws that place some restrictions on teen drivers, as well as, increased seat belt use, better safety equipment in motor vehicles, and anti-drunk driving campaigns.

Any Chicago car accident lawyer at Levin & Perconti will tell you that the state of Illinois has implemented a graduated driver license program that entails certain phases and restrictions teen drivers must adhere to:

Permit Phase – Age 15 – Restricted Night Driving: Sunday – Thursday, 10pm – 6am, and Friday-Saturday 11pm – 6 am – Permit must be held for a minimum of 9 months – Must practice driving a minimum of 50 hours, including 10 hours of nighttime driving with parental or adult supervision – Cell phone use while driving is prohibited except in cases of emergency
Initial Licensing Phase – Age 16-17 – Must have completed a state-approved driver education course – All occupants under age 19 must wear safety belts – Maintain a conviction-free driving record for six months prior to turning age 18 – For the first year of licensing or until the driver is 18, the number of passengers is limited to one person under age 20 – unless the passenger is a sibling or child or the driver
Full Licensing Phase – Age 18-20
– Cell phone use while driving under the age of 19 is prohibited except in the case of an emergency – Limit one court supervision for serious driving offenses – Two moving violation convictions within a 24-month period results in a minimum one-month driver’s license suspension – Suspended drivers are required to pay a $70 reinstatement fee

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