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Teens run higher risk for a crash with peers in the car

Many car crashes in Georgia and across the U.S. are caused by distracted teen drivers. What parents should know is that it’s not just phones and other technology that can make their teens inattentive behind the wheel; it’s also having their peers in the car.

According to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the car crash risk increases 44% when teens allow a single peer as a passenger in their car. Teens are not as experienced as adults are in juggling the two actions of driving and talking, so parents are advised to restrict the number of passengers their teens take on. Ideally, teens should go without passengers for the first six months or the first year after obtaining their license.

Parents could also place limits on when their teens can be passengers in their peers’ vehicles. There are various factors to consider in this regard, such as how far they will be traveling, how long the driver has been licensed and whether they will be driving at night.

Some states have a law allowing siblings to ride with newly licensed teen drivers, but parents should not assume that the practice is safe. In fact, siblings are more distracting than friends because the former can more easily get one another excited or angry.

Regardless of their age, drivers must keep themselves and others safe on the road. Failure to do this is negligence, and negligence can lay the groundwork for a personal injury case. Those injured through little or no fault of their own might want a lawyer to take on their case and handle negotiations for a settlement. If one cannot be achieved out of court, the lawyer may assist with litigation.