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Risks for Car Accidents among Teens with Passengers Present

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released a study showing the correlation between the age and the number of passengers in a teen’s vehicle and the risks of getting into a car accident in Cape Coral and elsewhere. The newly-released study, “Teen Driver Risk in Relation to Age and Number of Passengers,” revealed that the risks of accidents associated with 16- and 17-year-old drivers increased significantly with each passenger in the teen’s car. With zero young passengers but only older passengers present, teens had the lowest risks for auto accidents.
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Our Cape Coral car accident attorneys understand that teens are being let out of school and they’re hitting the roadways in full force. It’s a time for them to get out and hang out with their friends.

Unfortunately for them, hanging out in the car isn’t a good idea. It’s also a time when we see a significant increase in the number of car accidents among this age group. It’s important to set ground rules within your family regarding the number of passengers allowed in your teens’ car. Florida’s graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) program does not set forth any passenger restrictions for these young and vulnerable drivers.

Passengers and risks for car accidents among 16- and 17-year-old drivers:

-Accident risks increase by nearly 45 percent when one passenger under the age of 21 is present.

-Risks double when two passengers under the age of 21 are present.

-Risks quadruple when three or more passengers are in the car that are under the age of 21.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, when passengers over the age of 34-years-old are present in the vehicle, the risks among these young drivers for a fatal accident decreases by more than 60 percent. In the same scenario, their risks for a police-reported accident decrease by nearly 50 percent. This illustrates why it’s so important to ride with your child frequently. Providing them with plenty of supervised driving time allows them to develop safe and cautious habits behind the wheel. These habits can turn into life-long safe driving skills.

In this study, accidents and the number of miles driven within this young age group were analyzed to look at the effect of teens’ habits behind the wheel and their passengers’ influence on their habits.

The study also concluded that states that have strict GDL programs and passenger-restriction rules typically see lower rates of teen car accidents.

“We know that carrying young passengers is a huge risk, but it’s also a preventable one,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of AAA.

The bottom line is that parents can help to take control of these situations and can enact household rules regarding how many young passengers are allowed in the vehicle with their teen drivers.

Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, is a law firm that’s committed to helping car accident victims in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Bonita Springs and elsewhere through Southwest Florida. Call your Fort Myers injury attorneys today to set up a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call us at 1-800-283-2900.

More Blog Entries:

Car Accident in Fort Myers Kills Teen Driver, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, April 20, 2012