Teen drivers across Virginia and the rest of the nation are prone to distraction and lack experience. For these and other reasons, they can present a threat to everyone out on the road. Research shows that other factors also contribute to crash risks for teenage drivers, and one such factor is the presence of a teen passenger. According to AAA Newsroom, teen drivers who have teenage passengers riding in their cars alongside them are much more likely to wind up in a fatal crash than teen motorists who have older, adult passengers present.
How teen passengers affect crash risks
When teen drivers have teen passengers in their cars and get into car wrecks, the risk of a fatality increases considerably. The presence of a teen passenger increases everyone’s risk of dying in the crash by 51%. While there is a 45% increase in the risk of the teen driver being killed, occupants of other vehicles involved in the wreck face the highest risks and are 56% more likely to die. Pedestrians and cyclists in the vicinity are 17% more likely to die in a crash due to the presence of the teen passenger.
How older passengers affect crash risks
Studies show that having passengers in a teen driver’s car who are older than 35 actually reduces fatality risks for everyone involved in a wreck. When teen motorists have passengers present who are 35 or older, the older passenger’s presence reduces fatal crash risks by 8%.
It is evident that the age of the passenger, and not the sheer presence of the passenger, heightens fatal crash risks. For this reason, parents of teenage drivers may want to consider setting rules limiting teen passengers until their teen driver has more road experience.