Teenage drivers across Texas and the rest of the United States tend to have more crashes during the summertime, and this is due in part to the fact that they spend more time on the roads when they are not in school. Teen drivers are also more likely to have teen passengers along for the ride during the summer months, with studies showing that teen passengers heighten fatal crash risks for teen motorists.
According to AAA Newsroom, teen passengers are a major source of distraction for young drivers and have a substantial impact on teen crash-related fatality rates.
How teen passengers impact road deaths
Studies show that when a teenager has another teenager in his or her vehicle and crashes, everyone involved in the incident, regardless of what vehicle they are traveling in, becomes 51% more likely to lose their lives. The dangers are even more notable for those traveling in cars not driven by the teenager, with these individuals becoming 56% more likely to die because the teen driver has a teen passenger in the car. If the teen driver-involved crash also involves cyclists or pedestrians, those people become 17% more likely to die due to the teen passenger being in the teen driver’s car.
How older passengers impact road deaths
Data shows that it is the age of the passenger, rather than the mere presence of a passenger, that raises fatal crash risks for teen motorists. When a teen has an adult passenger who is at least 35 along for the ride and gets into a wreck, the older passenger actually cuts fatal crash risks for everyone involved by 8%.
Parents may be able to help their teens drive more safely by limiting who they may have in their cars until they become more experienced drivers.