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motor vehicle

Teen drivers and teen passengers can be a fatal combination

Parents of teen drivers in New York should know that the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released new research data relating to the dangers faced by young drivers. Its main finding is that teen motorists who drive with teen passengers are more likely to be involved in fatal accidents.

Specifically, the fatality rate increases by 51 percent for all of the vehicle’s occupants. Furthermore, the teen driver/passenger mix leads to a 56 percent fatality-rate jump for occupants of other vehicles. Factors like speeding and driving at night also raise the fatality rate. This is important because there were over 1 million crashes involving teen drivers in 2016. More than 3,200 fatalities resulted from those accidents.

On the other hand, AAA found that when there was a passenger 35 years or older riding with the teen driver, the fatality rate declined by 8 percent. This shows the need for greater supervision, according to safety experts. AAA says that at least 100 hours of supervised practice driving should be required before teen drivers go on their own. The auto association also recommends that parents limit the number of teen passengers.

Talking with passengers can pose just as much of a distraction as calling, texting or eating. Therefore, teens who cause a car accident because they engaged in this activity will be held liable. A crash victim can file a claim against the other party’s auto insurance company, but they may want a lawyer to help them show that the other party was indeed negligent. The lawyer could then negotiate for a settlement with the insurance company’s own legal team.

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