Sharing New York’s roads with teenage drivers raises crash risks based solely on the inexperience of those teen drivers, but research shows that many other factors also increase dangers for new drivers. Having teenage passengers along for the ride is one such variable, with teenage passengers creating many new dangers for young, inexperienced motorists.
According to TeenDriverSource.org, the risks associated with teen drivers having teenage passengers present are considerable. As a result, many states and communities have enacted rules that set restrictions with regard to who new drivers may have in their vehicles and when.
How teen passengers affect accident rates
Research shows that while any teen passenger increases the odds of a fatal wreck for a teen driver, the more peer passengers a teen driver has in his or her car, the higher the risk of a crash taking place. Data shows that, when a teen driver has one teenage passenger present, the risk of a crash doubles. When that teen driver has two or more passengers in the car, the risk of a crash triples.
Why teen passengers affect accident rates
Teen passengers are a common and frequent source of distraction for young motorists. Teenage passengers may distract drivers by talking to them, messing around in the backseat, taking phone calls or messing with the car radio, among other examples. Research suggests that many teen drivers are also more likely to engage in dangerous behind-the-wheel behaviors, such as speeding or drinking and driving, when his or her peers are present in the car.
Parents of teenage motorists may want to do their part to enhance public safety by limiting their teens from driving with young friends until they have more experience at the wheel.