When teen drivers across Massachusetts and the rest of the nation get their driver’s licenses, they may be eager to pick up their teenage friends and take them along for the ride. Yet, studies show that the sheer presence of a teen passenger creates serious risks, not only for those traveling in a teen driver’s vehicle but also for everyone else they encounter on the roadway.
According to AAA Newsroom, when a teen motorist has a teenage passenger riding in his or her car and gets into a crash, the risk of death increases for everyone involved because of the teen passenger’s presence.
How teen passengers affect fatality risks
Studies show that, when teen drivers have teen passengers and get into car wrecks, the teen passenger’s presence raises the risk of a fatality for everyone in all involved vehicles by 51%. The risks are even higher for those traveling in cars not driven by teenagers. These individuals are 56% more likely to die in such a crash due to the presence of the teen passenger. Anyone traveling on foot or by bike who winds up in a crash with a teen driver with a teen passenger is 17% more likely to die because of the young passenger’s presence.
How older passengers affect fatality risks
Research also shows that it is the fact that the passenger is young, and not the fact that the passenger is present, that enhances fatality risks. When teen drivers have passengers in their cars that are at least 35, the chances of everyone involved in a subsequent car wreck dying actually decrease by 8%.
Parents of teenage drivers may want to consider setting limits and restrictions when it comes to who their children may have in their vehicles and when.