Many fatal and nonfatal teen driver-involved car accidents that take place across Virginia and the rest of the United States share similar elements in common. For example, driver distraction is a contributing factor to many car crashes involving teenagers, and while cellphones are often a source of distraction, studies show that other young passengers create similar fatal crash risks.
According to AAA Newsroom, the presence of another teenager in a teen driver’s vehicle is enough to raise fatality risks significantly in the event that the teen driver winds up in an accident.
How teens impact fatal wreck risks
In a fatal car crash involving a teenage driver, everyone involved in the accident, regardless of what vehicle they travel in, faces a 51%-higher chance of dying if the teen driver has another teenager along for the ride. If there are any bicyclists or pedestrians involved in the traffic incident, they face a 17% higher chance of a fatality because the teen driver had a teen passenger in the car. Anyone traveling in vehicles that are not driven by the teen is most threatened by the teen driver having a teen passenger. These individuals become 56% more likely to die in a wreck if there was a teen passenger in the teen driver’s car.
How adult passengers impact fatal wreck risks
Studies show that it is the fact that the passenger is a teenager, and not the fact that the passenger is simply there, that increases fatal accident risks. Older passengers who are at least 35 reduce the risk of a road death resulting from a teen driver-involved wreck by 8%.
While young passengers raise fatal accident risks, other factors, including speeding or driving after dark, also make fatal crashes more likely for teen drivers.