New Study: Teen Drivers + Teen Passengers = Dangerous Combination

by Carmen Dellutri on October 22, 2013

Fort Myers personal injury lawyerRecent research by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) confirms that novice drivers and teen passengers can be a fatal mix. The study found that teenage drivers (age 15-17) are about eight times more likely than young adult drivers (age 18-24) to have a fatal accident when accompanied by two or more teenage passengers.

To arrive at the results, researchers examined ten years of national data on fatal crashes in which teen passengers were involved. They found that the relative risk for novice drivers with one teen passenger increased over the past decade from 3.7 to 5.1, while the risk when transporting two or more passengers grew to 7.7, an increase of about 30 percent over the decade.

The study did not specifically examine the causes. However, distracted driving is one of the suspected culprits.

“Total teen fatal crashes per year declined, but the relative risk for young drivers carrying teen passengers actually increased substantially – at this same time, text messaging exploded in American society,” says Russell Henk, a TTI Senior Research Engineer and primary author of the study. “We can’t scientifically state that there’s a direct link between those two things yet, but it seems reasonable to suspect a connection.”

While Florida has adopted a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system that restricts the hours teen drivers can be on the road without being accompanied by an adult over 21, there are no restrictions on passengers before 11 p.m. Therefore, we encourage parents to talk to teens about the risks of distraction and set their own rules regarding teen passengers. For tips on talking to your teen about safe driving, please see our prior posts.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Cape Coral car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Cape Coral injury attorneys for a free consultation.

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