Because Oregon’s teenage drivers lack the driving experience that older motorists have, they need to exercise extreme care every time they get behind the wheel. Part of the responsibility of driving involves learning how to avoid distractions. Research shows that teen passengers are a frequent source of distraction for young drivers.
According to AAA Newsroom, teen drivers find themselves involved in more than a million crashes in an average year. Studies show that when those teen drivers involved in crashes had teen passengers along for the ride, fatality rates rose considerably.
How teens affect teen drivers’ fatal crash risks
When a teen driver causes a car wreck and that driver has a teenage passenger riding in the vehicle, everyone involved in the incident becomes 51% more likely to die as a result of the teen passenger being there. The actual teen driver becomes 45% more likely to die due to the teen passenger’s presence, while those in other vehicles involved in the wreck face a 56% higher chance of death.
How older passengers affect teen drivers’ fatal crash risks
Research clearly shows that it is not the passenger, in general, that increases the odds of a deadly wreck, but rather, the fact that the passenger is in his or her teens. When teen motorists have passengers in their cars who are at least 35, having the passenger in the car actually lowers fatal crash risks by 8%.
Because teen passengers pose such obvious risks to teen drivers and everyone they encounter on the roadway, parents of young drivers may want to restrict their children from having other teens in their vehicles until they become better, more experienced drivers.