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For teens, friends are a major distraction

Teens and cellphones get a lot of press when looking at distractions behind the wheel. However, as dangerous as it is to use a phone to text a friend while driving, there's another danger that often gets overlooked: having those friends in the car.

When a teen has a friend along as a passenger, the odds of an accident double, as compared to a teen driving alone. Driving home from school with a friend may seem smart, and going to the mall or the movies on the weekend may sound fun. The reality, though, is that it can be dangerous.

What happens if there are more than two teens in the car? The risk isn't just three times as high as it would be for teens driving alone. It more than triples.

Not all teens have cars. Many can't afford them or their parents won't let them buy vehicles. Cars packed with four or five teens are common. The odds that those cars will be involved in accidents are incredibly high.

This isn't to take away from other distractions. Cellphones are a problem, whether teens are talking or texting. However, this just shows that parents, teens and other drivers all need to know the real risks when young, inexperienced drivers take to the roads. Even common activities that take your eyes and mind off the road can make accidents more likely.

Have you been injured in such an accident? Has your child been hurt while riding with someone else? When the medical bills are high, it may be wise to look into your legal options for compensation.

Source: Teen Driver Source, "Why Teens May Crash," accessed June 15, 2017

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