Each year, teen-involved car crashes increase across Kentucky during the summertime, when most teenagers are out of the classroom and out having fun. Many factors contribute to fatal and nonfatal crashes involving teenage drivers, and one factor that carries considerable weight is whether a teenage driver has a teen passenger present.
According to AAA Newsroom, the mere presence of a teenage passenger in a car driven by a teenager raises the risk of death for anyone involved in a crash that occurs.
How teen passengers impact fatality rates
Studies show that a teen passenger’s presence in a teen driver’s vehicle makes everyone in all vehicles involved in a subsequent crash 51% more likely to die. Those traveling in cars or trucks not driven by the teen with the teen passenger face even higher risks. These individuals are 56% more likely to die due to the teen passenger’s presence. Research also shows that passengers who are 35 or older actually reduce the chances of anyone involved in a crash with a teen driver dying. This indicates it is the age, and not the presence, of the passenger that makes a difference.
What parents should do to encourage safety
Many parents are doing their part to enhance roadway safety by restricting who their teenagers may drive with and when. Educating teen drivers about the risks involved with driver distraction and having young passengers may also help make a difference in teen driving behaviors.
Those who suffer injuries or lose loved ones in crashes involving negligent drivers across all age groups may have legal recourse available.