Distraction comes in various forms, but studies show that some Texas drivers are more likely to find themselves distracted behind the wheel than others. Teenage drivers are especially prone to driver distraction. While cellphones and other technologies often divert their attention away from a vehicle’s controls, research shows that other teens riding in the vehicle also serve as a source of distraction – and heighten the chances of a deadly crash occurring.
According to AAA Newsroom, parents of teen drivers may want to keep a close eye on when and with whom their teenagers drive in the months and first few years after getting their licenses. This is largely due to the fact that, when teen drivers have other teens riding in their cars and get into accidents, the chance of the crash winding up fatal rises 51% because of the teen passenger being there.
How teen passengers impact fatality rates
Teenage passengers raise fatality risks for everyone involved in a wreck with a teen motorist. However, some are more in danger than others. For example, individuals traveling in vehicles not driven by a teen driver with a teen passenger are 56% more likely to die in a crash with a teen driver if that driver has a teen along for the ride. Pedestrians face a 17% higher chance of dying in a crash when a teen driver has a teen passenger, and cyclists face the same elevated fatality risk.
How adult passengers impact fatality rates
Passengers over 35 have the opposite effect on teenage drivers. These passengers actually lower the chance of a fatal teen-involved car crash by 8%.
While teen passengers have an impact on fatality rates in teen-involved crashes, so, too, do other factors, such as alcohol use and vehicle speed.