Drivers in South Carolina may be wary of a car full of teens because they are concerned about the risk of a dangerous accident. These fears may be based on more than simple stereotypes about teen driving. For National Teen Driver Safety Week, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted research into accidents involving teen drivers. They found that teen drivers who were carrying other teens as passengers were more likely to be involved in fatal crashes. The fatality rate escalated by 51 percent for crashes involving cars with only teens inside.
In 2016 alone, 1 million crashes across the United States involved teen drivers. These car accidents took a total of 3,200 lives. However, the AAA study found that the fatality rate increased when teens were driving other teens. These circumstances were especially deadly for people in other vehicles. The fatality rate increased by 56 percent in a crash with a car containing all teens. Pedestrians and cyclists were also 17 percent more likely to be fatally injured. Even the teen drivers themselves were 45 percent more likely to die. In comparison, the fatality rate fell by 8 percent when teen drivers were accompanied by a passenger age 35 or over.
There is a number of factors that could contribute to this risk. The AAA study also found that behaviors like night driving or speeding also contributed to a high fatality rate. Some teens are careless behind the wheel, but others simply have too little experience to respond well in an emergency.
Drivers of all ages can pose a danger behind the wheel. Distracted, drunk or drowsy drivers can cause serious injuries and permanent disabilities. A personal injury lawyer can help car accident victims pursue compensation for their damages, including current and future medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.