AZ Central recently reported on a tragic accident in which a 15-year-old boy was killed in a collision and a 17-year-old boy sustained critical injuries. The accident occurred near Phoenix, and happened when the vehicle the teens were in crossed over into an oncoming lane and hit another car. The teen who was killed was the passenger in the car, and he was wearing a seat belt at the time. The young 17-year-old driver was expected to survive the accident. The cause of the crash was still under investigation at the time of the reports; however, it appeared that speeding may have been a factor in the crash.

Tragically, accidents like this happen all the time, not just in Phoenix but throughout the country. Teens are significantly more likely to get into motor vehicle accidents than adults are, especially if they have young passengers in the car with them as this young driver did. Parents and young people need to be aware of the risk of teen car accidents and should make sure they are very careful about the number of young people in the car together at the same time.

Teens at Risk With Multiple Passengers in the Car

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a troubling report which every parent and young person needs to be aware of. According to their research, when a teen driver has just one single other passenger under the age of 21 in the car with him at the time he is driving, his per mile risk of a deadly collision is 44 percent greater than someone with no other young passengers in the car.  This effect is negated if an adult is in the car, but like in this recent accident, all too often there are two or more teens in the car alone.

The statistics become even more frightening when teens have multiple young passengers in the car with them. When a teen has two other people under the age of 21 in the car with him, his risk of an accident is doubled. If there are three or more other people who are in the car, a teen driver has quadruple the collision risk.

Arizona attempts to mitigate the dangers of teens driving with other passengers with the state’s graduated licensing laws. For the first six months that a teen gets his or her license, the young person is only allowed to have one passenger who is under 18 in the car with him at the time when he is driving.  Unfortunately, this six month limit may not be long enough as a teen who gets a full license at 16 and who brings more than one passenger with him will still be at risk, just as the young people were in the recent collision which occurred outside of Phoenix.