Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Teen Passengers Still Prove Distracting to Teen Drivers

Studies done by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm identify factors that may lead teens to drive with multiple peer passengers and how those passengers may affect their driver's behavior just before a serious crash. The first study surveyed 198 teen drivers and found that teens who are most likely to drive with multiple passengers possessed a weak perception of the risks associated with driving and perceived their parents as not setting rules. The second study analyzed a sample of 677 teen drivers involved in serious crashes to compare the likelihood of driver distraction and risk-taking behaviors right before a crash when teens drive with peer passengers and when they drive alone. The study shows teen drivers with peer passengers were more likely to be distracted just before a crash, with 71% of males and 47% of females saying they were distracted directly by the actions of their passengers. Researchers also found that males with passengers were almost six times more likely to perform an illegal maneuver and more than twice as likely to drive aggressively just before a crash, as compared to males driving alone. Because teen passengers can encourage unsafe driving, the study authors recommend parents set a house rule of no non-sibling teen passengers for the first six months of driving and only one non-sibling passenger for the second six months. For more information and guidance based on this research, visit and