Teenage motorists often lack the judgment and experience that older drivers on the road often have, making them more prone to risk-taking and other dangerous driving behaviors. Studies show that teen drivers become even more dangerous when they have teenage passengers present in their vehicles. Studies show that the presence of the passenger raises the risk of death for everyone involved in a wreck with a teen driver.
Per AAA Newsroom, the presence of a teen passenger increases the odds of the teenage driver operating the vehicle while distracted. When other factors that already enhance crash risks, such as speeding or driving at night, come into play, the risks of teen drivers having teen passengers become even more pronounced.
Examining the extent of the problem
When teen drivers get into wrecks and have teen passengers present, the passenger’s presence raises the risk of a fatality by 51% everyone involved. It raises fatality risks for drivers and passengers traveling in other cars even more than it does for those in the car with the teen driver. Drivers and passengers in other cars are 56% more likely to die in crashes with teen drivers when those drivers have teen passengers.
Examining crash rates among teens with older passengers
Research shows that it is the age of the passenger, and not the simple presence of a passenger, that raises fatality risks in teen-involved car crashes. When teen drivers have passengers with them who are 35 or older, having a passenger decreases fatality risks in a crash for everyone involved by 8%.
Safety advocates argue that teens should undergo more supervised driving time in a variety of conditions to help prevent teen-involved car wrecks.