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New Study Shows Young Passengers and Teen Drivers Can be a Dangerous Combination

By Alpert Schreyer on May 24, 2012

A recent study conducted by the Automobile Association of America (AAA) safety foundation reveals an increased risk for teens dying in an auto accident when other teen passengers are in the same vehicle, according to a news report. The study was based on an examination of government data on teen accidents from 2007 to 2010, and arrives at the conclusion that teens driving with their friends is much riskier than driving with an adult in the car, something most parents may already be aware of. The president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety asserts that the presence of teens can be just as much of a dangerous distraction as cell phones.

Some noteworthy statistics from this new study include:

  • As compared to driving with no passengers, a 16- or 17-year-old driver’s risk of death per mile increases 44 percent when carrying one passenger under 21 years of age.
  • When carrying two passengers younger than 21, the risk of death doubles for a 16 or 17-year-old motorist. In addition, the risk quadruples when carrying three or more passengers.
  • If an adult age 35 or older is in the vehicle, then the risk of the teen driving dying in a fatal car crash decreases by 62 percent.

Between 2000 and 2010, the total number of 16- and 17-year-old drivers involved in deadly crashes fell by more than half with the help of graduated licensing laws, greater seat belt use, and improved safety equipment in vehicles. However, the study indicates that 40 percent of the 2,191 teens killed during those years had at least one passenger under 21 in the car. Also, preliminary data for the first six months of 2011 shows a small increase in teen driver fatalities.

As summer is the deadliest time of year for teen drivers and passengers, encouraging your teens to drive safe and distraction-free can help save their life. The negligence of another driver, however, may still cause a fatal accident. The Waldorf teen driving accident attorneys at the law firm of Alpert Schreyer can help you and your teen obtain compensation for your injuries when a collision was caused by another party. For a complimentary case assessment, call (844) 632-7274.

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