A new study sheds some light on the types of situations that might be dangerous for teenagers behind the wheel of an automobile.
Released to coincide with Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, the study from AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that teens are in much greater danger of being in a fatal car accident when they’re carrying one or more passengers who are under the age of 21. Just one passenger in this age range can increase by 44% per mile driven the likelihood that a 16 or 17 year old will be fatally injured in an accident. This number continues to increase with each young passenger that is added to the vehicle. The rate is four times as great when three or more 21-and-under passengers are aboard.
Graduated licensing laws have been instituted in every state as a way to curb this danger, and it seems to be working. Many believe that these laws, which put restrictions on teenage drivers until they hit certain milestones, are responsible for year to year fatality decreases of more than half from 2000 to 2010.
Interestingly, older passengers seem to have a positive influence. The possibility of a fatal teen car accident goes down by 62% when teens have someone over 35 riding with them.
I find this incredibly interesting as a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. Distracted driving has many faces, and it doesn’t have to necessarily involve a cell phone. This shows that another passenger can be just as detrimental to teen driving, and I hope as an auto accident lawyer in Sacramento that people are aware of the dangers that present themselves when teenage drivers have young passengers in the car.