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Why teen passengers raise fatal crash risks for teen drivers

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2022 | Wrongful Death

Teenagers behind the wheel in Kentucky lack the experience that older drivers on the roads have. They are also more likely to become distracted by other people or ongoings in their vehicles. This may explain, at least in part, why, when teen drivers have teen passengers in their cars and wind up in crashes, the chances of those wrecks proving fatal rise substantially on account of the teenage passenger’s presence.

According to AAA Newsroom, teen drivers and their teenage passengers are a potentially fatal combination. How much does a teen driver having a teen passenger in the car increase the chances of a car wreck claiming lives?

A teen passenger’s impact on fatality risks

A teen passenger’s presence in a car driven by a teen increases fatality risks for everyone involved in a wreck with that teen driver by 51% – regardless of what vehicle those involved are traveling or riding in. Yet, those riding or driving cars not driven by teen motorists are 56% more likely to die in a teen driver-involved crash.

An older passenger’s impact on fatality risks

Research suggests that it is the fact that a passenger is a teenager, and not that there is a passenger in the car, in general, that enhances fatal crash risks. Studies show that adult passengers aged 35 or older decrease deadly crash risks when they rise alongside teen motorists.

AAA recommends that parents of teen drivers supervise their driving until their children gain more experience behind the wheel. Restricting teens from riding with other teens for a period may also help cut fatal crash numbers.