Teenage drivers are often susceptible to distraction when they drive. Cellphone use is a common contributor to teenage driver-involved car wrecks. However, studies show that teenage passengers also raise teen drivers’ risk of involvement in a deadly crash.
Per AAA Newsroom, research shows that having a teenage passenger in the car raises the risk of death for everyone involved in a crash with a teen driver.
Understanding the teen passenger effect
When a teen motorist causes a crash and has a teenage passenger riding along in the vehicle, the teen passenger’s presence raises the chance of everyone in all vehicles involved in the crash dying by 51%. It also raises fatal crash risks for cyclists and pedestrians by 17%.
While the presence of the teen passenger raises the teen driver’s chance of dying in a crash by 45%, the risks are even higher for those traveling in other cars and trucks involved in the wreck. Those individuals face a 56% higher chance of dying in a car crash caused by a teen driver if the driver has a teenage passenger present.
Training teen drivers
Parents may be able to help curb this problem by setting restrictions about with whom their children drive, and when. Research shows that older passengers, or those over 35, actually diminish fatal crash risks for teen drivers, rather than increase them. Parents may want to keep age-related passenger restrictions in place for six months or longer after a teen begins driving.
While teen drivers who drive with other teens create risks for everyone on the road, their actions threaten drivers and passengers in other vehicles the most.