Teenage drivers often find themselves easily distracted while behind the wheel, and other passengers are a common source of driver distraction. When the passengers riding in a teenage driver’s vehicle are also teenagers, the chances of a fatal crash increase.
Per AAA Newsroom, teenage drivers had involvement in more than 3,200 crashes with at least one fatality in 2016 alone. Teenage motorists also had a hand in more than 1 million crashes that year that had a law enforcement response.
Teenage passengers and fatality rates
When teen drivers have teen passengers in their cars and get into wrecks, everyone involved in the wreck faces a 51%-higher chance of dying due to the presence of the teenage passenger. Individuals traveling in cars not driven by the teen are even more at risk for a fatality. Those riding in or driving other cars face a 56%-higher chance of dying because of the teen passenger’s presence in the other vehicle.
Cyclists and pedestrians also face a 17%-higher chance of suffering a fatality in a crash if the driver is a teenager with a teen passenger.
Older passengers and fatality rates
Studies indicate that the age of a passenger plays a substantial role in whether that passenger’s presence impacts fatal crash risks for a teenage driver. When the passenger is 35 or older, he or she actually cuts fatal crash risks by 8%.
While teenage passengers heighten fatal crash risks for teen drivers, other factors also play a role. Nighttime driving and speed are frequent contributors to fatal car wrecks involving teenage drivers.