Teenage drivers may be more prone to distraction than older, more experienced motorists. Studies show that having certain passengers present during a crash caused by a teen driver raises fatality risks for you and everyone involved. How much does having a teenage passenger in the car raise fatal crash risks, and does the same hold true when older passengers are present?
Per the AAA Newsroom, the risk of everyone in a teen-involved crash suffering a fatality rises 51% when the teenage driver also has a teenage passenger present.
How much teen passengers raise fatality rates
You face the highest risk of a fatality in a teen-involved crash when that teen has a young passenger present and you are driving or traveling in a different vehicle. In this type of crash, fatality rates involving drivers and passengers in cars not driven by the teen increase by 56%.
Teen drivers and teen passengers traveling together also pose a threat to pedestrians and cyclists. When teen drivers have teen passengers in their cars, fatality risks increase by 17% for pedestrians and cyclists.
How much older passengers impact fatality rates
Studies show that having a passenger, in general, is not necessarily dangerous for teen drivers. Instead, it is the presence of the teenage passenger that raises threat levels. Research shows that fatality rates in teen-involved crashes decline by 8% when a teen driver has a passenger in the car who is at least 35.
Safety advocates contend that teen drivers need more supervised practice before taking to the roadways to prevent fatal crashes. They also need to practice supervised driving under a variety of conditions, such as at night and in the rain, before driving alone or with younger passengers.