Teenage passengers increase risks for teenage drivers

AAA has recommended that teenage drivers in Michigan and across the U.S. go through 100 hours or more of supervised practice driving before they are allowed to drive solo. The recommendation comes after the release of research that indicates teenagers are more dangerous behind the wheel when they are driving with other teen passengers.

Specifically, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted research that showed when teen drivers are carrying only teen passengers in the car, the rate of fatalities from crashes increases by 51 percent. In cases where a teen driver has a passenger aged 35 or older, the rate of fatalities drops by 8 percent.

During 2016, more than 1 million teen driver crashes were reported. These crashes caused more than 3,200 fatalities. According to the director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, analysis indicates that an increased percentage of other people on the road are killed in crashes when teen drivers are driving with only other teen passengers. Fatality rates also increase for teenage drivers when factors like driving at night or speeding are involved.

When teenage drivers drive with only teenage passengers, fatality rates in crashes increase by 17 percent for cyclists and pedestrians and by 45 percent for the teenage driver. The fatality rate for people traveling in other vehicles increases by 56 percent.

When a negligent teen driver causes a car accident, a lawyer may be able to help any victims. Those who have been harmed might be entitled to recover compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, missed paychecks and more.