Passengers Dangerous in Vehicles of Teen Drivers
Teenage drivers are very aware of the risks of alcohol-impaired driving and are much less likely to drive under the influence of alcohol than are non-teen adults.
However, teenagers are unaware of the driving risks caused by carrying teenage passengers. Teen drivers carrying one teenage passenger have twice the risk of a fatal crash as teens driving alone. The risk jumps five times higher for teens carrying two or more teenage passengers.
According to a recent study, large proportions of young people reported seeing teen passengers distract teenage drivers (94%), act wildly (69%), having been drinking (48%), getting the driver to speed (45%), and having been smoking marijuana (38%).
In spite of the heightened risk caused by teen drivers having other teens as passengers, 15 states have no restrictions on young drivers carrying young passengers in their vehicles.
The research surveyed 5,665 ninth, tenth and eleventh grade students representative of all 10.6 million public school students in grades nine through eleven. It was conducted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance Company.
- Winston, F. K., et al. Driving: Through the Eyes of Teens. A Research Report by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance Company. Philadelphia: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 2007.
filed under: Drinking and Driving