Teenage drivers do not have the experience that older motorists have. This means they may not know how to react when certain situations arise on the roadway. Teen motorists are also more prone to driving while distracted than older drivers, and studies show that certain distractions increase the risk of a teen driver’s involvement in a fatal crash.
According to AAA Newsroom, having a teenage passenger present is one such factor that raises the risk of death for everyone involved in a crash.
Teen passengers and fatalities
When a teenage motorist has a teenage passenger riding alongside him or her and winds up in a wreck, the presence of that teenage passenger raises fatality risks for everyone in all vehicles involved in the crash by 51%. Those driving or traveling on cars driven by someone other than the teenage driver are most at risk of dying in such a crash. For these individuals, the teen passenger’s presence raises their fatality risks by 56%. Any pedestrians or cyclists involved in such a crash face a 17%-higher fatality risk due to the teen passenger’s presence.
Teen crash contributors
While the presence, alone, of a teenage passenger is enough to raise fatality risks for a teen driver, other factors also come into play in many teen driver-involved car wrecks. For example, teenage drivers with teen passengers are more likely to cause deadly crashes when driving at night or while speeding.
Parents of teenage drivers may be able to do their part to reduce fatality risks by setting restrictions about who their kids may drive with and when they may do so.