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Lewis, Marenstein, Wicke, Sherwin & Lee, LLP

Teen drivers, teen passengers a deadly combination

Studies show that when teen drivers travel California’s roads and have teenage passengers riding in their cars with them, the presence of the teenage passenger raises fatality risks, should the driver find his or herself involved in a crash. Teen passengers are a common cause of distraction for teenage motorists. Their presence increases fatality risks, not only for those in the vehicle driven by the teen but for anyone else involved in the wreck, too.

According to AAA Newsroom, the mere presence of a teen passenger in a vehicle driven by a teenager raises fatality risks for everyone in a wreck with that teen driver by 51%.

How teenage passengers impact fatality rates

When teen drivers have teen passengers in their cars and get into crashes with other vehicles, the individuals riding or driving the other cars and trucks involved in the wreck are 56% more likely to die because of the teenage passenger. If there are any cyclists or pedestrians in the wreck, these individuals face a 17%-higher chance of dying in the incident because of the teenage passenger’s presence.

How older passengers impact fatality rates

Research indicates that it is the fact that the passenger is a teenager, and not the fact that there is a passenger, period, that raises fatal crash risks. When teen motorists have passengers in their cars who are 35 or older, the passenger’s presence reduces fatal crash risks by 8%.

Teen passengers create clear risks for teen motorists and others on the roadway. Thus, parents of drivers within this age group may want to set limits with regard to who their children may have in their vehicles. This may prove especially important during a teen’s first few years of driving.