Why having passengers increases crash risks for teen drivers

| Jan 31, 2021 | Personal Injury Law |

Sharing the road with teen drivers involves a certain level of risk. Younger motorists lack the experience older drivers have, and this may make it harder for them to react in emergency situations or make smart decisions while navigating traffic. Research shows that teen drivers who drive with teenage passengers in their cars pose even more of a threat to the public.

According to AAA Newsroom, when teen drivers have teen passengers and find themselves involved in car wrecks, the presence of those passengers increases the chances of everyone involved dying by 51%. This is in sharp contrast to the fatality risks you face when involved in a crash with a teen driver who has an adult passenger. When adult passengers accompany teen drivers, fatality risks for everyone involved decrease by 8%.

Statistics about teens who drive with teen passengers

A 2016 study of about 1 million crashes revealed that, when teens have teenage passengers present, the fatality risks for the teen driver rise by 45%. The fatality risks for the occupants of other vehicles involved in the crash are even higher, rising 56% when teen passengers accompany teen drivers. Cyclists and pedestrians also face a 17% higher chance of dying in a car wreck when the driver is a teen with a teen passenger alongside him or her in the vehicle.

Safety protocols to enhance safety among teen drivers

Teen driver-involved crashes become less likely when teen drivers learn to drive in low-risk situations. Teens should learn to drive during the day and during favorable weather conditions before trying their hands at more dangerous situations. Parents, too, may be able to help prevent crashes by preventing their teen drivers from driving with teenage friends present.

While having teen passengers present raises crash risks for teen drivers, many teen driver-involved fatal car crashes also involve speed or alcohol.