Many older motorists across Pennsylvania feel uneasy sharing the road with teenage drivers, and with good reason. Teenagers lack the driving experience of older motorists, and this makes them less likely to be able to react appropriately in the event of a crash. Teen drivers also tend to be more prone to distraction than older drivers on the roads, and this, too, increases crash risks. A major source of distraction for today’s teen drivers is the presence of other young passengers in the vehicle.
According to AAA Newsroom, teen drivers and passengers are a deadly combination, and when they travel in cars together and get into car wrecks, the teen passenger being there makes everyone involved in the wreck more likely to die.
How much do teen passengers affect fatality risks?
Everyone involved in a car crash with a teen driver becomes 51% more likely to succumb to injuries suffered in the crash if the teen driver has a teen passenger in the car. The teenage driver becomes 45% more likely to die in the crash, while those involved in the wreck, but traveling in cars or trucks not driven by the teen driver, face a 56% higher chance of death because of the teen passenger’s presence.
How parents of teenagers might help reduce fatality rates
The main reason teen passengers raise crash risks for teen drivers is because they often distract the driver’s attention away from the road. Thus, parents of new drivers may want to set restrictions for their teens to follow with regard to whom they may have as passengers for their first few years behind the wheel.
Notably, when a teen motorist has a passenger in the car who is at least 35, the passenger being there cuts fatal crash risks by 8%.