Multiple passengers a factor in collisions involving teen drivers: study

Philadelphia – Multiple passengers can influence teen drivers before collisions and are associated with factors that contribute to risky driving behavior, according to two studies from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance.

The first study looked at 677 drivers between 16 and 18 years old who were involved in a serious collision. Researchers found that both males and females were more likely to be distracted moments before a crash when driving with other passengers, compared with teens who crashed while driving alone. According to the study, 71 percent of males and 47 percent of females reported that they had been distracted directly by their passengers.

The second study used a cross-sectional Web-based survey to collect data from 198 adolescent drivers. Study authors reported that teens who were more likely to drive with multiple passengers were more likely to be “thrill-seekers” and had a weakened perception of the risks associated with driving.

Researchers suggested parents set a rule for their teens of no non-sibling teen passengers for the first six months of driving.

Both studies were published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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