Teen drivers pose a threat to everyone on California’s roadways due to their lack of experience, but teen drivers who have teen passengers in their cars present even more of a serious safety hazard. Studies show that the mere presence of a teen riding in a teen driver’s vehicle raises fatality risks, should a crash occur.
AAA Newsroom reports that teenage passengers are a serious source of distraction for young drivers, and so much so that they raise the chances of a death occurring in a car crash by 51%. The risks are even higher for certain individuals involved in a car accident with a teen motorist.
When teen drivers have teen passengers
Studies show that teen drivers who have teen passengers threaten those driving or traveling in other vehicles the most. When a teen driver with a teen passenger gets into a crash with other cars, the people riding in the other cars become 56% more likely to die in the wreck. The teen driver, meanwhile, becomes 45% more likely to lose his or her life, while any bikers or pedestrians in the accident face a 17%-higher chance of a fatality.
When teen drivers have adult passengers
Older passengers who are at least 35 appear to have the opposite effect on teenage motorists, making them drive more carefully and responsibly. When teenage drivers have these older passengers long for the ride and get into an accident, everyone involved becomes 8% less likely to lose their lives.
While teen passengers raise fatal crash risks for young drivers, other factors, such as alcohol abuse, only exacerbate these risks.