As a Missouri car accident lawyer, I handle many accident cases caused by a teen driver. During the investigation stage of the case, I often find that the teen driver at fault was distracted by a passenger. Now, a new study corroborates this fact that a teen driver’s risk of being involved in a collision is substantially increased by a teen passenger.
According to the study, when teenagers who said that they were distracted by something before they were involved in an accident, were surveyed, approximately 71% of male drivers said that the distractions came from their teenage passengers in the car. Among female teen drivers, 47% said that the distractions came from teenage passengers.
Another study by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia finds certain common characteristics among teen drivers who have teen passengers in their car. According to the researchers, these teen drivers are much more likely to perceive themselves as ‘thrill seekers’, and perceive their parents as being unable to set rules. These teen drivers are also more likely to have a poor perception of the challenges and risks associated with distracted driving.
To help curb teen driver accidents, the State of Missouri has already enacted a Graduated Driver’s License Law. Drivers with an “Intermediate License” must not have more than 1 passenger below the age of 19 in the car for the first 6 months after they receive their Intermediate License. After the first 6 months, there must be no more than 3 passengers in the car below the age of 19.
This blog was authored by Douglas R. Horn, a lawyer with over 20 years of experience in motor vehicle accident law and crash litigation. Mr. Horn is a driver’s safety advocate and the founder of “Drive By Example”.
Drive By Example is a safety organization with a mission to advance teen driver safety. For more information, visit www.drivebyexample.com.