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Study Shows Passengers Increase Odds of Teen Driver Fatalities

Teenagers have traditionally been the most dangerous drivers on the road, with accident rates four times that of older drivers. A recent AAA study calculates just how their risk of a fatal crash is multiplied when they have other teenagers in the car.

The risk of a fatal crash increases by nearly half when a 16- or 17-year-old driver has one teenage passenger; it doubles with two teen passengers; and it quadruples with three or more passengers.

As reported by the Washington Post, the study is the latest report to raise concerns about teenage drivers. In reviewing preliminary data from the first six months of 2011, the Governors Highway Safety Association found a slight increase in the number of fatal crashes involving 16- and 17-year-old drivers. If the trend continued, 2011 would reverse a recent trend of falling teenage fatalities.

In another study, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last month said its research found that drivers under the age of 24 were much more likely than older drivers to send and receive text messages while driving.