Teen drivers are often more prone to taking unnecessary risks behind the wheel than their older peers. Their lack of experience also means they lack some of the knowledge needed to avoid crashes and drive defensively. Studies show that many teen drivers are also doing something that endangers themselves and everyone else on the road even more: They are driving with teenage passengers in their vehicles.
According to the AAA Newsroom, when a teen motorist has teenage passengers in the car, it raises fatality risks for everyone involved in the wreck.
Teen driver and passenger statistics
When teen drivers have teenage passengers in their cars and then get into a crash, the presence of teen passengers means those in the crash are 51% more likely to suffer a fatality. Those most at risk when teenage drivers have teen passengers are not those riding in the teen’s vehicle, but rather, other drivers and passengers traveling along the same roads. When teen drivers have teenage passengers present, it boosts fatality rates for other drivers and passengers by 56%.
Passenger age matters
While having a teenage passenger in the car increases the chances of the teen driver’s involvement in a fatal crash, having a passenger who is 35 or older does the opposite. Studies show that, when teens have passengers riding with them who are over 35, the presence of the passenger actually lowers crash risks by 8%.
Having passengers present creates many risks, and one of the most notable is the risk of driver distraction.