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Teen crash risk goes up with presence of young passengers

| Jun 1, 2020 | Car Wrecks |

Georgia residents with teenage children know that driving is a new experience for them and that, as a result, they can become more easily distracted. While most adults can concentrate on the road while talking with a passenger, this usually is not the case for teen drivers, though it depends on the age of the passenger.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has come out with a study showing how the number of young passengers that teen drivers have in their vehicles can affect their chances of being in a crash. Researchers looked at teen crash data from 2007 to 2010 and the number of miles that teen drivers traveled between 2008 and 2009.

Focusing on 16- and 17-year-old drivers, researchers found that the risk for a fatal crash increases 44% when one passenger younger than 21 is in the car. When two passengers under 21 are present (and no adult passengers), the risk doubles. With three such passengers (and, again, no adult passengers), it quadruples. On the other hand, having a passenger 35 or older decreases the risk 62%.

From 2000 to 2010, the number of fatal car crashes involving 16- and 17-year-old drivers went down 53%. Still, teen crash rates are four times that of crashes involving adult drivers.

Distracted driving can be caused by any number of things, not just conversations. Oftentimes, it’s the result of a driver using a phone or infotainment system. Whatever form the other driver’s negligence took, those injured in a crash may have a justifiable personal injury claim on their hands. They may want a lawyer to evaluate the case first.

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