There is a lot of talk about the dangers of texting and driving. We recognize it is a serious driver distraction that can lead to Virginia car accidents. Yet, there is another major distraction of teen drivers that has been identified in recent studies. Is it music? Is it talking on a cell phone? No, the distraction comes in the form of passengers.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the risk of a fatal accident is five times higher when there are two or more teen passengers in the vehicle. The chances of a car accident double when there is just one teen passenger riding with a teen driver. These findings are a cause of alarm for parents.
Teen Drivers, Distractions & Virginia Car Accidents
Two recent studies—conducted by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm—have highlighted the distractions that teen drivers face. Some of the key discoveries from the research include the following:
- 71 percent of male teen drivers said that their passengers distracted them.
- 47 percent of female teen drivers said they were directly distracted by the actions of their passengers.
- Teen drivers who tend to travel with multiple teen passengers didn’t appear to fully understand the risk of driving.
- Speeding and reckless driving were often to blame for accidents involving male teen drivers.
- When it came to female teen drivers and accidents, their attention was often on their friends or they were using cell phones.
What Parents Can Do to Minimize Their Teens’ Risks of Virginia Car Accidents
If you are a parent, this new study is likely very unsettling for you. It’s nerve racking enough knowing your teen driver is behind the wheel, facing the general risks of driving. To think that passengers could be increasing the dangers of a crash is downright unnerving. The positive news is that you can help your teen by being a good role model.
The majority of teens will readily admit that their driving habits come from their parents. That means your teenager is watching what you do. Make sure that you are not driving aggressively and that you are not distracted. Of course, always obey the rules of the road and avoid speeding, reckless driving and other dangerous behaviors.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident in Culpeper, Warrenton, Front Royal or the surrounding area, we may be able to help you. Contact an experienced Culpeper car accident attorney at the law firm of Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas today to get answers to your questions. We can be reached by calling one of the telephone numbers below:
- Warrenton 540-341-0007
- Culpeper 540-825-6046
- Front Royal 540-636-7100