The summer months are a deadly time to be on the road, and this is due in part to the influx of young, inexperienced drivers taking to Alabama’s roadways. Inexperience contributes to many Alabama car crashes. However, other factors also raise a teen driver’s crash risks, and one such factor is the presence of other teenage passengers.
Per AAA Newsroom, teenage passengers are a significant source of distraction for young drivers. In fact, a teenage passenger’s presence has such an impact that if the teen driving the car winds up crashing, the teen passenger’s presence raises fatality risks by 51% for everyone involved.
How teen passengers impact fatality rates
While a teen passenger being in a teen driver’s vehicle raises fatality risks for everyone in all vehicles involved in a subsequent crash, those in vehicles not driven by the teenager are even more at risk. These individuals are 56% more likely to die in a teen driver-involved wreck if that teen driver has a passenger in his or her car. Pedestrians and cyclists involved in wrecks with cars carrying teen drivers and teen passengers are also 17% more likely to die because of the presence of the young passenger.
How older passengers impact fatality rates
While teen passengers raise crash rates, studies show that older passengers, or those who are at least 35, reduce them. The presence of a passenger who is at least 35 actually reduces fatality rates for anyone involved in a crash with a teenage driver by about 8%.
Parents of young drivers may be able to reduce the chances of a wreck by restricting their children from driving with young passengers until they are able to get more behind-the-wheel experience.