Driver distraction is a serious concern for all motorists across Oklahoma, and studies suggest that teen drivers are especially prone to letting something divert their attention away from a vehicle’s controls. While cellphone use is a frequent cause of driver distraction, other passengers, too, have the potential to distract a driver. Teen drivers, in particular, face dangers when they have teen passengers present. Those dangers extend to everyone they encounter on the roadway.
According to AAA Newsroom, the mere presence of a teen passenger in a car driven by a teenager raises fatality risks for everyone involved in a subsequent crash.
How teen passengers impact fatality rates
When teenage motorists crash and have teen passengers in their cars or trucks, the teen passenger being there raises the risk of a fatality by 51% for everyone involved in the wreck. The dangers are even more pronounced for those traveling in cars not driven by the teenage driver. Motorists and passengers traveling in other vehicles face a 56%-higher chance of dying in a wreck with a teen driver if that driver has a teen passenger present.
How older passengers impact fatality rates
Interestingly, when teen passengers get into crashes and have passengers in their cars who are 35 or older, the passenger’s presence lowers fatality rates by 8%. This suggests that it is the age of the passenger, and not the presence of the passenger, in general, that enhances risks.
Some parents of teen drivers are setting limitations about who their children may drive with to help prevent driver distraction and associated car wrecks.