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Study Finds Teen Passengers Dangerous for New Drivers

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on May 14, 2012

According to a KTNV.com news report, a new study shows that teen’s risk of dying in an auto accident is significantly higher when others teens are in the car. The research study, conducted by the Automobile Association of America’s Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAA), was based on an examination of 2007-2010 government data on teen automobile crashes. The study arrived at a conclusion most people, especially parents, are already aware of: teens driving with other teens or young adults is much riskier than when an adult is along for the ride.

The study found that, as compared to driving with no passengers, the risk of death per mile increased 44 percent when a 16 or 17-year-old driver had at least one passenger in the vehicle under age 21. In addition, the risk is double when the driver carried two passengers under 21-years-old and quadruples when three or more passengers were in the vehicle. On the contrary, if a passenger in the car was age 35 or older, the risk of the teen driver dying in a crash decreased by 62 percent.

Overall, 40 percent of the 2,191 young teens killed in during the 2007-2010 period had at least one passenger under 21-years-old, showing that the presence of others teens in a car with a teen driver can be just as distracting as cell phones. Preliminary data from the first six months of 2011 also reveals a small increase in teen driver deaths.

Auto accidents can be caused by a number of things, so it is up to parents to help their teen be safer on the road and control the things they are able to, such as limiting the number of underage passengers a teen can have in their vehicle. The negligence of another motorist, however, cannot be prevented. If you have been injured in a WA auto accident caused by the careless actions of another person, call a Seattle car accident attorney with Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. The initial consultation is free, so call our offices at (888) 228-3860 to schedule a consultation.

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