For young people the greatest risk of injury or death comes from automobile accidents. A recent study conducted by AAA’s safety foundation found that chances of a fatal car accident for teen drivers dramatically increase when other friends are present in the car.
This may not come as news to most parents. Safety researchers have also long known that novice drivers are distracted by the presence of other teens. However, no studies have looked at specific data since the mid-1990s. Thus, government teen crash data from 2007 and 2010 was recently reviewed.
Teenagers with no passengers or driving with a parent or adult had the least likelihood of being involved in an accident. However, for 16- and 17-year old drivers the chance of deadly accident almost doubles with one teenage passenger. When a young driver has three or more passengers the risk quadruples.