Do You Allow Your Teen Driver to Have Passengers?

Attorney Grant Travis | Travis Law Firm | Personal Injury Attorney, DUI Defense Attorney, Criminal Defense Attorney | Serving Erie, Crawford, Warren & all of Northwestern PA | Call the Travis Law Firm at 814-277-2222 today!

If you allow your teen driver to have anyone in the vehicle with him or her, the risk of death in a car accident increases by over one-half according to a recent report. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety researched and assessed the fatality rates in crashes involving teen drivers. As part of the study, the researchers looked at accidents involving teen drivers who had teen passengers in the vehicle and the results were startling.

Overall Fatality Rates for Teen Driver Crashes

During 2016, it is estimated that teen drivers were involved in 1,053,000 accidents. In those crashes, 3,270 people were killed. The largest number of fatalities in teen driver accidents was the teen drivers (35.7%) followed by occupants of other vehicles (29.6%). However, passengers in the teen’s vehicle were a close third with 22.6 percent of the fatalities. The study found that three risk factors increased the fatality rates in teen driver accidents. The factors were nighttime driving, speeding, and transporting a passenger.

Fatality Rates Dramatically Increase When There is a Passenger with the Teen Driver

The research is clear and daunting regarding teen drivers with teen passengers.  The study found that when a teen driver had a teen passenger in the vehicle, the risk of fatality to occupants of other vehicles increased by 56 percent. The risk of fatality for the teen driver increased by 45 percent and the risk of fatality for cyclists and pedestrians increased by 17 percent. However, when an adult 35 years or older road with a teenage driver, the fatality rate for all people involved in a crash decreased by eight percent.

According to the director of AAA State Relations, the lack of driving experience for teen driver increases the risk of a traffic fatality in an accident. Therefore, parents should treat driving as a serious matter for teens.

Decreasing the Risk of a Teen Driving Accident

Parents can take steps to help reduce the risk of a teen driving accident. AAA has resources to help parents and teen drivers.

Some of the things parents can do to help their teen become a safe driver include:

  • Enforce rules to limit teen passengers in the vehicle.
  • Ride with their teen driver as often as possible as a passenger.
  • Require a minimum of 100 hours of supervised driving practice with the parent before solo driving.
  • Master driving in low-risk situations, such as during the daytime. After that, graduate to more challenging conditions such as nighttime driving, driving in the rain, interstate driving, etc.
  • During the first six months of driving, allow only one non-family passenger under the age of 20 to ride with a teen driver.
  • When practicing driving skills, modify the route each time to assess your teen driver’s abilities.

Call an Erie Car Accident Attorney for a Free Case Review

If you are injured in a teen driving accident, we can help you file your injury claim. For parents of teen drivers, do not assume your teen driver is the at-fault driver.

It is easy to blame teens with statistics like those in the AAA study; however, teen drivers are not always at fault. Do not allow your teen driver to be blamed for an accident that is not his or her fault. Contact our office to discuss your legal options for fighting a traffic ticket and claim of fault for an accident.

Contact The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to request a free legal consultation with our Erie car accident attorney.