According to a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study, teen drivers increase their risk for a car crash by 44% when they drive with just one teen passenger. This should give not only teens in Texas but also their parents pause. The National Safety Council states that teen drivers should not have any passengers in their car for at least the first six months after obtaining their license. If they can hold off for a year, this would be ideal.
The NSC points out the fact that peer passengers can be distracting to teens. The distractions that come with picking someone up for a date night or picking up friends to go see a movie, go shopping or attend a big event can be too much for teens to handle. Even as they drive to school with a friend, teen drivers cannot help but be pulled into conversations to a dangerous degree.
Parents should know that distractions put both drivers and passengers at risk. If their teen will be driven by a peer, parents should learn all the necessary facts like whether the driver is licensed, how far they will be driving and whether they will drive at night. Lastly, parents should not think that siblings are less distracting passengers than friends; the contrary is true.
Teens and adults alike are expected to maintain control of their vehicles. If they cause motor vehicle accidents because they were being distracted by a friend in the car, they cannot blame the friend. Victims, for their part, may file a claim against the driver’s auto insurance company in the effort to be reimbursed for damages. Since it can be hard to negotiate for a settlement or litigate on their own, victims may want to hire a lawyer.