Teenage motorists lack the experience that older drivers have, and many of them are also more prone to taking risks than those in older age groups. For these and other reasons, teen drivers pose a threat to everyone on the roadway. However, research shows that the chance of a teen causing a deadly crash increases substantially when that teenage driver also has teenage passengers present in the car at the time of the wreck.
Per AAA Newsroom, to help lower fatality rates, today’s teenage drivers should undergo more supervised training before getting behind the wheel without adults. They should also practice driving in many different scenarios before driving with passengers who are also in their teens.
How much teen passengers increase fatality rates
When a teenage driver strikes your car and has a teenage passenger in the vehicle, the chance of everyone involved in the wreck dying goes up by 51%. The risk of death is even higher for passengers and drivers in cars other than that driven by the teenager. Those who fall within this group are 56% more likely to suffer a fatality in such a crash.
How much adults 35 and older decrease fatality rates
Studies show that it is not having a passenger present that makes teenage drivers a threat to everyone on the road, but rather, having a young passenger. When teen motorists have passengers in their vehicles who are 35 or older, fatality rates decline. The presence of the older passenger actually decreases death rates for everyone involved in the wreck by 8%.
While teen passengers increase fatal crash risks for teenage drivers and those involved in crashes with them, fatality rates increase even more when members of this age group speed or drive at night.