Many drivers across Indiana and the rest of the United States are prone to distraction while driving. Yet, new teenage drivers are especially susceptible to getting distracted by other people or things. While cellphones remain a common source of distraction among motorists in all age groups, research shows that teens are also highly susceptible to distraction caused by having other teens in the vehicle.
According to AAA Newsroom, when a teen driver has a teen passenger in the car at the time of a crash, the teen passenger’s presence in the car makes everyone involved in the accident statistically more likely to die in it.
How teen passengers affect fatality rates
The mere presence of a teen passenger in a car driven by a teen raises the chances of everyone involved in a crash with the teen driver dying by 51%. Those in cars or trucks not driven by the teen face an even higher likelihood of dying as a result of the teen passenger being in the car, becoming 56% more likely to die due to the teen passenger’s presence.
How adult passengers affect fatality rates
Studies suggest that it is not the mere presence of a passenger in a car that distracts a teen driver and raises fatal crash risks, but rather, the presence of a young, teen passenger. Research reveals that a passenger who is 35 or older actually cuts the chance of a teen driver’s crash proving fatal by about 8%.
Many parents of new drivers are doing their part to reduce distracted-driving crashes by not allowing their teens to drive with other young people until they become more comfortable and experienced behind the wheel.