Having a single teen passenger in the car can make a teen driver 44% more likely to get in a car accident, according to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Parents in California may want to ensure the safety of their teens, then, by limiting the times they ride with their friends and by restricting them from having any peers in their car.
It’s a good idea for teens to go without any young passengers for at least one year after obtaining their license. If parents can make it six months, that’s still a good amount of time to let teens gain experience behind the wheel.
As for letting their teen be a passenger in a friend’s car, parents should ask certain questions before giving approval. For example, they could ask how long the friend has been licensed, how far the destination is, what sort of destination it is and whether they will be driving at night. Parents should be careful about having siblings ride with their teen. While it may save parents time to have their teen pick up and drop off the younger children, the problem is that siblings can become more disruptive and more easily cause teens to get angry or excited.
Conversations with passengers are, of course, far from the only thing that can distract drivers and indirectly cause motor vehicle accidents. Smartphones, infotainment systems and even food and drink make drivers inattentive, too. Whatever the cause of a crash, those who are injured through little or no fault of their own may seek compensation by filing a claim, but they may want a lawyer to help them navigate the complexities. The lawyer may speak on their behalf at the negotiation table, litigating if a settlement isn’t reached.