When schools across California close for the summer and more teenage drivers take to state roadways, the risks of sharing the road with them increase. Research shows that, while teen motorists often take risks when it comes to speeding, drinking and driving or driving while distracted, there is another factor adding to injury and fatality risks: the presence of teenage passengers.
AAA Newsroom reports that the risk of dying in a teen driver-involved car wreck increases substantially for everyone involved when that teenage driver has a teenage passenger in the vehicle.
How much teen passengers raise fatality risks
The presence of a teen passenger in a teen driver’s vehicle increases the risk of a fatality by 51% for everyone involved in the wreck. This holds true regardless of what car they are riding in. The chance of dying in a teen-involved car wreck with a teen passenger present is even higher for those traveling in other vehicles. Those traveling in cars not driven by the teen face a 56% higher risk of dying because of the presence of the teenage passenger.
How much older passengers impact crash risks
Research indicates that simply having a passenger present in the car is not enough to raise fatality risks in crashes. Instead, it is the presence of the teenage passenger that increases dangers. When a teen driver has a passenger in the car and that passenger is 35 or older, the chances of everyone involved in a crash with that teen driver dying decrease by 8%.
Parents may be able to help reduce the number of teen-involved crashes seen across California by restricting them from driving with young passengers until they get more experience.