New research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that when teen drivers have teen passengers, the fatality rate for all people involved in a crash increases by 51 percent. AAA spokesperson Don Redman says it may take some by surprise how much of a distraction teen passengers are compared to other possible distractions behind the wheel.

"More so than cell phones, more so than any other distraction, fellow teen passengers are one of the biggest distractions for teenagers," says Redman.

Redman says in the state of Louisiana, teen drivers accounted for 69 deaths in 2016.

"Thirteen of those were their passengers. Twenty-eight of the teen drivers themselves died. They're also hurting other people. Eighteen fatalities of occupants in other vehicles. Ten pedestrians and bicyclists," says Redman.

Redman says although the law requires fifty hours of supervised drive time with teen drivers, AAA recommends much more. He adds that parents begin practicing in low-risk situations and gradually move into situations that are more complex.

"We recommend one hundred hours of supervised time with a student behind the wheel," says Redman.

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