ARDMORE, OK - A new study released by AAA Oklahoma finds the risk of fatal car crashes skyrockets when teens drive with passengers under the age of 21.
For decades, teens have been labeled the most hazardous drivers on the road. Statistics show they crash nearly four times as often as drivers over the age of 35.
Ardmore Public School Assistant Superintendent Jill Day said, "When my kids were learning how to drive, at least then I didn't have to worry about cell phones as a distraction."
A new study released by AAA Tuesday shows the likelihood of a 16 or 17-year-old driver being killed in a car crash increases with each additional teen passenger.
"As you increase the number of occupants under the age of 35 inside a vehicle, accidents are going to increase," Oklahoma State Trooper Walter Jack said. "Distractions, phones, not paying attention to the road and excessive speed is always going to make accidents increase."
Compared to a teen driving with no passengers, the risk of a fatal crash increases by forty-four percent when a teen driver has one teenage passenger, doubles with two teen passengers and quadruples with 3 or more.
However if someone over the age of 35 is onboard, the fatality risk drops by sixty-two percent.
Day said asking teens to drive alone all the time is impractical, but hopes educating teens on the dangers of distracted driving will help keep them safe.
Right now, Oklahoma has no law that limits the number of teen passengers riding with teen drivers.
For more information on teen driving log on to: www.TeenDriving.AAA.com